Good Afternoon! There are 25 days until the 2018-19 college hockey season begins.
The University of North Dakota hockey team has a rich and storied history. Last season, 22 former players played in the NHL. Again, this season, numerous former UND hockey players will be vying for roster spots on NHL teams. Currently, there are 28former UND hockey players under NHL contract. Former UND defenseman Jordan Schmaltz is an RFA and when he signs his next contract, that will push the total to 29.
Last week, the Sportsnet staff posted their top 100 NHL players. Perusing the list, I noticed that there were a lot of former college hockey players on that list. I apologize if I have forgotten a name or two. Two Former UND hockey players made that list.
You can see the list by clicking on this link. I think you’ll recognize a few of the names. Here are a few of the names that stuck out. Former Minnesota Golden Gopher Blake Wheeler was the highest-ranking former college hockey player on the list.
99. Max Pacioretty, LW, Montreal Canadiens — Michigan
96. Charlie McAvoy, D, Boston Bruins — BU
71. Ryan Suter, D, Minnesota Wild — UW
70. Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Philadelphia Flyers — Union
66. Zach Werenski, D, Columbus Blue Jackets — Michigan
64. Connor Hellebuyck, G, Winnipeg Jets — UMass
63. Duncan Keith, D, Chicago Blackhawks — MSU
61. Joe Pavelski, C, San Jose Sharks — UW
In recent times, two of UND’s most popular players checked in at 50 and 51.
58. Brock Boeser, RW, Vancouver Canucks
With the hair of Prince Charming from Shrek and a shot that would make Canucks great Pavel Bure jealous, Boeser is a superstar in the making. He had 29 goals in 62 games before a nasty back injury abruptly ended his stellar rookie campaign. He showed off his laser-quick release by winning the accuracy shooting competition at the 2018 NHL All-Star Game by hitting all five targets in 11.136 seconds. A future 50-goal scorer.
56. Jonathan Quick, G, Los Angeles Kings — U. of Mass-Amherst
50. Jonathan Toews, C, Chicago Blackhawks
At 30, Toews has almost everything an NHL player could desire. He’s earned three Stanley Cups and two Olympic golds, and has five years left on an eight-year, $84-million contract. But the talent pool around him has thinned from Chicago’s salad days, and they’ve played just four post-season games in the past two years. Toews put up a modest stat line in 2017–18 (20 goals and 32 assists in 74 games), but it’s not like his game has fallen off a cliff — he’s scored 30 goals or more only twice in his career, the last time in 2010–11. He earned the handle Captain Serious by rising to the highest moments in greatest need, but now the battle is just to return to relevance.
45. Jack Eichel, C, Buffalo Sabres — BU
37. Phil Kessel, RW, Pittsburgh Penguins — UMN
33. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Calgary Flames — B.C.
19. Blake Wheeler, RW, Winnipeg Jets — UMN