NHL Draft and NCAA Hockey
|Top College Draft Picks
No. 1 Overall
Erik Johnson, Minnesota (2006)
Rick DiPietro, Boston University (2000)
Joe Murphy, Michigan State (1986)
No. 2 Overall
James van Riemsdyk, New Hampshire (2007)
Dany Heatley, Wisconsin (2000)
Craig Simpson, Michigan State (1985)
No. 3 Overall
Kyle Turris, Wisconsin (2007)
Jonathan Toews, North Dakota (2006)
Jack Johnson, Michigan (2005)
No. 4 Overall
Paul Kariya, Maine (1993)
No. 5 Overall
Phil Kessel, Minnesota (2006)
Blake Wheeler, Minnesota (2004)
Thomas Vanek, Minnesota (2003)
Ryan Whitney, Boston University (2002)
Aaron Ward, Michigan (1991)
Bill Guerin, Boston College (1989)
The NHL Draft annually highlights some of the best young college players and incoming freshmen. More than 60 college or college-bound players have been selected in each of the last 12 NHL Drafts, with 63 selected in 2013.
Every NHL team has draft picks currently developing in the college ranks; in fact, five teams have 10 or more draftees in college. The average NHL team has more than a half-dozen of its selections playing NCAA hockey.
Twenty-nine of the 59 Division I programs had a current or future player taken in the 2013 NHL Draft in New Jersey, as all but three of the NHL's teams selected at least one NCAA player. Buffalo and Pittsburgh each added five college players to their organizations.
The upcoming 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia should continue the trend of 60-plus NCAA players being selected. A total of 95 current or future NCAA players - representing 37 programs - were listed in the final rankings issued by NHL Central Scouting in April.
Jacob Trouba, taken ninth overall in 2012, was the most recent top-10 selection among college players. Winnipeg made Trouba its first selection in the 2012 NHL Draft, and the Michigan recruit was the first of 68 current or future college players to be taken in the draft. After an impressive freshman season that saw him earn All-America honors, Trouba signed with the Jets and is an NHL All-Rookie Team candidate.