Eric Knodel
Image: New Hampshire

Eric Knodel


West Chester Pennsylvania



Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









5th round (128th overall), 2009


225 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream

2009-10: Eric Knodel played a season with Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL. He scored three goals and 17 assists in 50 games with the team, before committing to New Hampshire for the next season.

2010-11: Knodel practiced with the University of New Hampshire as a freshman but did not see any action as the Wildcats’ core six defensemen played all 39 games. New Hampshire was second in Hockey East during the regular season and reached the NCAA Northeast Regional Final.

2011-12: Knodel skated in all 37 games for the University of New Hampshire as a red shirt freshman. He scored 3 goals with 9 assists and was plus-three with 24 penalty minutes. The Wildcats finished sixth in Hockey East and lost to Boston University in the league quarterfinals in a three-game series that featured two double-overtime games.

2012-13: Knodel played in 38 of 39 games for New Hampshire in his sophomore season and was the second-leading scorer amongst Wildcats defensemen. His 10 goals were the most amongst UNH defensemen and he had 11 assists, finishing +13 with 8 penalty minutes. The Wildcats finished in a three-way tie for third in Hockey East and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Northeast Regional after falling to Providence in a conference quarterfinal series. The Wildcats defeated Denver, 5-2, before falling to Massachusetts-Lowell, 2-0, in the Northeast Regional Final.

2013-14: Knodel signed a one-year entry-level contract with the Maple Leafs in March 2014 and made his pro hockey debut with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies following his junior season at New Hampshire. In 10 AHL games he had 2 assists and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes. Toronto finished first in the North Division and reached the Western Conference finals — falling to Texas in a seven-game series. Knodel was +1 with no points nor penalties in two playoff games. He was the fourth-leading scorer and top offensive defenseman for New Hampshire in his final season of college hockey. He scored 5 of his 7 goals on the Wildcats’ power play and had 21 assists, finishing +16 with 28 penalty minutes in 41 games. The Wildcats finished fourth in Hockey East and advanced to the conference championship game, falling 4-0 to Massachusetts-Lowell, but did not receive an NCAA tournament bid.

2014-15: Knodel appeared in 19 AHL games with the Toronto Marlies and skated for the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears in his first pro season. He had 8 assists with an even plus/minus and 6 penalty minutes with the Marlies. Knodel played in 38 regular season games for the Solar Bears. He scored 5 goals with 14 assists and was +16 with 10 penalty minutes. Orlando finished fourth in the East Division, falling to the Florida Everblades in a first-round series. Knodel had 1 assist and was +2 in three playoff games. 

2015-16: Knodel attended training camp with the Anaheim Ducks before signing a two-way contract with the AHL’s San Diego Gulls. He played four games with the Gulls, spending most of the season in the ECHL with Utah. Knodel was -3 with no points nor penalties with San Diego. He scored 7 goals with 15 assists and was +7 with 16 penalty minutes in 56 regular season games for the Grizzlies. Utah finished third in the West Division and advanced to the Western Conference semifinals. Knodel scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was +5 with 2 penalty minutes in 10 playoff games.

Talent Analysis

Knodel possesses prototypical size for a defenseman and strong skating ability. Despite that size he is not a huge physical presence and relies more on proper stick positioning then punishing body checks. Knodel will jump into the rush and is effective at the point, particularly on the power play. His agility and coordination are areas of focus if he is to progress towards the higher levels of pro hockey.


Knodel appeared in four AHL games with San Diego in 2015-16 and was one of the leading scorers amongst defensemen for the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies. Knodel's size and skating ability suggest some pro potential but his overall game does not appear to be on an NHL level.

Johns, Matheson lead good crop of drafted NCAA defensemen

by DJ Powers

Stephen Johns - University of Notre Dame

Photo: Notre Dame defenseman and Chicago Blackhawks prospect Stephen Johns will cap off his college career with his most productive offensive season for the Fighting Irish (courtesy of Zumapress/Icon SMI)

This season, the NCAA features an array of outstanding NHL-drafted defensemen and many of them, particularly underclassmen, have been left off this year’s list. The ten defensemen ranked here are all having excellent seasons with their respective teams and have made tremendous strides in their development.

Read more»

Size and skill highlight Toronto Maple Leafs Spring Top 20

by Chris Roberts

Morgan Rielly - Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo: Defenseman Morgan Rielly has experienced a lot of ups and downs in his first NHL season. Rielly has recorded two goals and 18 assists through 54 games with the Maple Leafs. (courtesy of Abelimages/Getty Images)

Outside of Nazem Kadri and the soon-to-graduate Morgan Rielly, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been void of big-name prospects for a few years. Moreover, they have lacked the prospect depth of most other NHL teams, either as a result of trading picks or players not yet meeting their potential.

Read more»

Toronto Maple Leafs used 2009 NHL Draft to add skill and toughness to prospect pool

by Peter Prohaska

Nazem Kadri - Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo: Selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs seventh overall in the 2009 NHL Draft, forward Nazem Kadri has developed into a solid top-six forward in the NHL. (courtesy of Nick Turchiaro/Icon SMI)

Brian Burke's first draft as General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs featured a variety of picks intended to help implement his somewhat idiosyncratic vision for a franchise in dire need of direction. The Maple Leafs finished the 2008-09 season with 34 wins and 81 points, and had missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

Read more»

NCAA prospects notebook for January, 2014

by DJ Powers

Ryan Dzingel - Ohio State University

Photo: Ohio State Buckeyes forward and Ottawa Senators prospect Ryan Dzingel had a hot hand in January, posting 14 points in eight games during that month (courtesy of Dan Sanger/Icon SMI)

The first month of 2014 featured a little bit of everything involving prospects around NCAA hockey. Hockey’s Future looks back at the notable performances and news items during from that month. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of February 1st.

Read more»

Toronto Maple Leafs reaping benefits of good drafting and development

by John-Eric Iannicello

Spencer Abbott - Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo: Forward Spencer Abbott has been a standout for the Toronto Marlies, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Abbott is in his second full season of professional hockey. (courtesy of Abelimages/Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs strong start can be attributed to the depth they have accumulated over previous seasons. Under general manager Dave Nonis, the Maple Leafs continue to foster the development of their youth in hopes they will one day become NHL players.

Read more»

Related Articles