|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 each year of the draft since the 2004-05 NHL lockout.
In those eight years since the lockout, 30% of all first- and second-round draft picks have been college players, including top-five picks such as Jonathan Toews, Phil Kessel, Erik Johnson and James van Riemsdyk.
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.
Jacob Trouba, taken ninth overall, 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.
Sixty-one current and future college players were selected in the 2011 NHL Draft in St. Paul, Minn. Twenty-seven of the 30 NHL teams took at least one college player in the draft. Twenty-four colleges were represented among the selections, with three players yet to decide on a school.
The 2013 NHL Draft, set for New Jersey this coming June, is sure to figure dozens more players with college ties.