College hockey is a proven route to the NHL, and the influence of the college game is only growing. In fact, a hockey player taking the college hockey route to the NHL is just as likely to be selected in the NHL Draft as a player in Canadian major junior.
In 2011-12, 301 former NCAA players played in the NHL, surpassing 30% of the year for the second year in a row. That number represents a jump of 34% from 10 years earlier.
Zach Parise, Martin St. Louis and Jonathan Quick are just three of the elite NHLers who played college hockey. Thirteen former college players took part in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game and the top players at each position in the 2010 Olympic Games - Jonathan Toews, Brian Rafalski and Ryan Miller - were all former college players.
The growth in college players at the NHL level shows no signs of slowing. Since the end of the 2011-12 college season, 48 players have already signed NHL contracts.
Quite simply, there is ample evidence to show that playing college hockey is a proven path to the NHL.
Click here to learn more about the former college players in the NHL.
|"I definitely matured my two years there. It was definitely the best two years I could have spent in college. I met a lot of great people there and with a great coaching staff, it was phenomenal. I give all that credit to them to making me a better player." - Chris Higgins, Yale/Vancouver Canucks
301 Former college players in the NHL in 2011-12, 30.5% of the league
"For me, college hockey was obviously the best step I could have taken to get to the next level." - Jonathan Toews, North Dakota/Chicago Blackhawks
"It's a reflection of college hockey in general being so much stronger and Ivy teams being a part of that. The quality of players has gotten better and the powers that be are not afraid to give these players a chance. We have 11 college guys on our team right now; 10 years ago you'd never see that happen." - Dominic Moore, Harvard/San Jose Sharks