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
Jack Eichel, Boston University (2015)
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
Noah Hanifin, Boston College (2015)
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. An average of more than 60 current or future NCAA players have been taken in each of the last 15 drafts. In 2015, for the first time ever, three college freshmen went in the top 10 overall, led by No. 2 pick Jack Eichel (above).
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.
More than half of the 60 Division I programs (34) had a current or future player ranked by NHL Central Scouting for the 2016 Draft, which will be held in Buffalo.
While 2016 may not see as many NCAA players in the top 10 of the draft, most mock drafts feature eight NCAA players in the first round. Rising sophomores Charlie McAvoy (Boston University), Luke Kunin (Wisconsin) and Tage Thompson (Connecticut) are projected to go in round one, along with incoming freshmen like Tyson Jost (North Dakota), Clayton Keller (Boston University) and Dante Fabbro (Boston University).
The 2015 first round featured seven NCAA players.