It’s that time of year again. The college hockey season is coming to an end. Seniors have finished their collegiate careers and at this point, we’ve gotten a solid amount of non-seniors that have bolted early from their programs to turn pro. Let’s break the early signings down a bit. The full list of 22 players (current as of April 9) can be found at the bottom. It is probable that these figures will need some updating.
Minnesota leads the way with five players gone (the Gophers only had one senior, however) and only Denver (which is now without long-time head coach George Gwozdecky), Michigan, and Lake Superior State have seen multiple players go (each has had two leave early so far). Seventeen of the 22 players to leave only passed up on one season while four sophomores and one freshman (Michigan’s Jacob Trouba).
Positionally, we’ve seen 10 defensemen turn pro, nine forwards, and three goaltenders.
So, the Gophers still lead the way in cumulative years forewent among their early departures with five, but Denver and Michigan are both close with four apiece, while Lake Superior State has three.
By 2012-13 conference:
Hockey East/ECAC: 2
No surprise here, as the current WCHA includes Minnesota and Denver. Though the actual tournament record of conference isn’t great, it’s not unwarranted that six of the 16 NCAA Tournament teams were from the WCHA. St. Cloud State is still alive and there are some more names that may be added later. On that note, the ECAC has two teams playing in the Frozen Four, so maybe Yale and/or Quinnipiac could add to the list, as could UMass-Lowell for Hockey East.
By 2013-14 conference:
Big Ten: 8
WCHA/Hockey East: 3
Sure it’s because of the Gophers again, but who would’ve guess college hockey’s smallest conference would have the highest amount of early signees at this point. It would be a shock to see any players leave Penn State this early in the game and Michigan State was a last-place team this year, giving only four teams to work with. As is the case for the 2012-13 departures, the ECAC and Hockey East could possibly add more this weekend (and players can sign any time so…) and the NCHC, which is stacked, could see a jump, as well.
By professional team:
11 teams: 1
Sixteen of the 30 NHL franchises have swooped in to get a college player so far. This includes Nashville (Minnesota’s Zach Budish) and New Jersey (Michigan’s Jon Merrill), who signed players to amateur tryout contracts. San Jose led the way with three signings and also picked up unrestricted free agents Eriah Hayes of Minnesota State and Rylan Schwartz of Colorado College. Vancouver, who has had a league-high 14 college players suit up this season, signed just one. Montreal, which has only seen five former NCAA players get ice time this season, tied with Nashville for the smallest amount in the league, passed on college players, with the exception of signing North Dakota senior Danny Kristo.
|Player||Pos.||School||Yr.||Pro Team||2012-13 Stats|
|Kellan Lain||F||Lake Superior State||Jr.||VAN||8-8-16 (32)|
|Andrej Sustr||D||Nebraska-Omaha||Jr.||TB||9-16-25 (39)|
|Buddy Robinson||F||Lake Superior State||So.||OTT||8-8-16 (38)|
|Chris Casto||D||Minnesota-Duluth||So.||BOS||3-6-9 (36)|
|Conor Allen||D||Massachusetts||Jr.||NYR||5-14-19 (33)|
|Dan DeKeyser||D||Western Michigan||Jr.||DET||2-13-15 (35)|
|Jon Merrill||D||Michigan||Jr.||NJ*||2-9-11 (21)|
|Anders Lee||F||Notre Dame||Jr.||NYI||20-18-38 (41)|
|Nate Schmidt||D||Minnesota||Jr.||WSH||9-23-32 (40)|
|Matt Nieto||F||Boston University||Jr.||SJ||18-19-37 (39)|
|Chris Crane||F||Ohio State||Jr.||SJ||6-3-9 (39)|
|Jacob Trouba||D||Michigan||Jr.||WPG||12-17-29 (37)|
|Nick Bjugstad||F||Minnesota||Jr.||FLA||21-15-36 (40)|
|Zach Budish||F||Minnesota||Jr.||NSH*||14-22-36 (40)|
|Jared Coreau||G||Northern Michigan||Jr.||DET||15-19-4, 2.70, .919|
|Scott Mayfield||D||Denver||So.||NYI||4-13-17 (39)|
|Matt Lindblad||F||Dartmouth||Jr.||BOS||10-18-28 (30)|
|Derek Forbort||D||North Dakota||Jr.||LA||4-13-17 (42)|
|Erik Haula||F||Minnesota||Jr.||MIN||16-35-51 (37)|
|Mark Alt||D||Minnesota||Jr.||PHI||0-7-7 (39)|
|Troy Grosenick||G||Union||Jr.||SJ||17-10-5, 2.12, .926|
|Juho Olkinuora||G||Denver||So.||WPG||13-6-5, 2.35, .927|