NCAA 2013 draft review

By DJ Powers
Brett Pesce - Carolina Hurricanes

Photo: University of New Hampshire defenseman Brett Pesce was the highest drafted player out of the NCAA, going to the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)


60 collegians (current or future) representing 29 NCAA programs and 27 NHL teams were taken in the 2013 NHL Draft. The 60 players selected are slightly down from last year when 66 committed players (at the time of the draft) were taken.

The Buffalo Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins led all NHL teams with five selections each. Both teams, especially the Penguins, have gotten great production at the collegiate level out of their prospects taken in recent drafts.

The only NHL teams that did not select a collegian were the Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The University of North Dakota led all NCAA programs with six players chosen, followed by the University of Michigan with five. Of the six North Dakota players taken, three were taken in the fifth round. Defensive recruit Tucker Poolman went to the Winnipeg Jets (127th overall), center Luke Johnson went to the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks (134th overall), and defenseman Gage Ausmus went to the San Jose Sharks (151st overall). This fall marks the first time in North Dakota’s illustrious history that the team will feature players drafted by the Anaheim Ducks and the Nashville Predators. Defenseman Keaton Thompson was selected by the Ducks in the third round (87th overall), and RW Wade Murphy was selected by the Predators in the seventh round (185th overall).

Of the 60 collegians taken in this year’s draft, six played in the NCAA this past season. Among them was Minnesota State-Mankato’s Stephon Williams, who was selected by the New York Islanders in the fourth round (106th overall). Although the Mavericks have had several players taken in the draft over the years, Williams is the program’s first goaltender to ever be chosen.

The biggest disappointment among NCAA teams at this year’s draft was Boston University. The Terriers, who have traditionally fared exceedingly well at the draft, failed to have a single player (current or future) taken this year. The last time Boston University did not have a player selected in the NHL Draft was in 2005.

The NCAA had at least one player taken in each of the seven rounds, but saw most of their players taken in the mid-rounds. 16 collegians were taken in the fifth round, 12 were chosen in the fourth round, and 11 were taken in the sixth round.

Power forward Michael McCarron was the first and only potential collegian taken in the first round. He went 25th overall to the Montreal Canadiens. McCarron, who was slated to attend Western Michigan this fall, is the brother of Cornell RW John McCarron (EDM). But the younger McCarron chose instead to sign a three-year contract with the Canadiens, and will likely be skating in the OHL this fall with the London Knights.

While North Dakota and Michigan had more players selected, Boston College may have made the biggest splash among NCAA teams at this year’s draft. Former BC standout goaltender Cory Schneider was part of the jaw-dropping deal made on Draft Day between Vancouver and host New Jersey. The Canucks traded Schneider to the Devils for the ninth-overall pick, selecting London Knights center, Bo Horvat. In addition to getting Schneider, the Devils also selected incoming defenseman Steve Santini at #42. Santini was one of three future Eagles to be taken in the second round. Fellow incoming freshman Ian McCoshen went to Florida with the 31st selection, joining defenseman Michael Matheson as the Panthers’ prospects on Boston College’s roster this fall. The other future Eagle selected was 2014-recruit Zach Sanford, who went to the Washington Capitals at 61st overall.

The Atlantic Hockey conference could potentially feature two NHL prospects this fall. University of Connecticut defensive recruit Ryan Segalla went to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fourth round (119th overall). While Segalla was originally slated to come to Storrs in 2014, he could potentially arrive this fall when the Huskies play their final season in Atlantic Hockey. Should Segalla come in this season, he will join RIT winger Anthony Hamburg (MIN) as the conference’s only NHL prospects.

College hockey’s newest D-I program, Penn State, fared quite well at this year’s draft, seeing their first two non-transfer players chosen. Highly-touted goaltender Eamon McAdam went to the New York Islanders in the third round (70th overall), while defenseman Mike Williamson went to the Vancouver Canucks in the sixth round (175th overall). McAdam and Williamson, who are both incoming freshmen this fall, will join Max Gardiner (STL) and RPI transfer Patrick Koudys (WSH) as the four NHL prospects on the Nittany Lions roster.

One NHL team with a unique connection to UMass-Lowell is the Edmonton Oilers. Oilers GM Craig MacTavish is a River Hawks alumnus. This year marked just the second time and first since 1987 that the Oilers selected a UMass-Lowell player in an NHL Draft when they chose incoming LW Evan Campbell in the fifth round (128th overall).

Family Affair

A collegiate phenomenon that occurred at this year’s draft took place in the fifth round with the selection of the Brodzinski brothers. Michael Brodzinski, a defenseman and the younger of the two, was selected by the San Jose Sharks (141st overall). Seven picks later, Jonny Brodzinski was taken by the Los Angeles Kings (148th overall). The elder Brodzinski is coming off of a stellar freshman season at St. Cloud State, while the younger brother will be an incoming freshman at Minnesota this fall. The brothers will face one another in the Minnesota Cup on Jan. 24.

Quentin Shore is the latest Shore brother to not only play at the University of Denver, but also to be selected in the NHL Draft. He was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the sixth round (168th overall). The elder Shore brothers, Drew and Nick, have already begun their pro careers with Florida and Los Angeles, respectively.

Defenseman Tommy Vannelli and center Jake Guentzel are the sons of two of the state of Minnesota’s most recognizable coaches and former University of Minnesota players. Vannelli, a second round selection (47th overall) of the St. Louis Blues and an incoming Minnesota freshman, is the son of St. Thomas Academy head coach Tom Vannelli. Guentzel, a third round selection (77th overall) of the Pittsburgh Penguins and an incoming Nebraska-Omaha freshman, is the son of University of Minnesota associate head coach Mike Guentzel.

Two North Dakota players, Luke Johnson and Adam Tambellini (NYR), have followed in their fathers’ footsteps as draft picks. Luke Johnson also followed his father to North Dakota. Johnson is the son of Steve Johnson, who was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1987 NHL Supplemental Draft. Tambellini is the son of former Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini, who was a 1978 NHL Draft pick of the New York Islanders. Jeff Tambellini, Adam’s brother and a former Michigan All-American, was selected in the 2003 draft by the Los Angeles Kings.

Incoming Boston College center Ryan Fitzgerald is the son of former Providence College standout and current Pittsburgh Penguins Assistant GM, Tom Fitzgerald. The younger Fitzgerald was chosen in the fourth round (120th overall) by the team that his father ended his NHL career with, the Boston Bruins.

Incoming Quinnipiac forward Peter Quenneville is the second cousin of current Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. The younger Quenneville was taken in the seventh round by the Columbus Blue Jackets (195th overall).


A number of collegiate players taken in this year’s draft were picks involved in previous trades. Among the notables are the following:

The 47th pick that the St. Louis Blues acquired from the Ottawa Senators came as part of the trade that involved former Maine standout goaltender Ben Bishop on Feb. 26, 2012. The Blues used the pick to select Tommy Vannelli.

The 97th pick that the Florida Panthers acquired from the Calgary Flames came as part of the Jerred Smithson trade on Apr. 13th. The Panthers used the pick to select incoming Cornell center Matt Buckles.

The 98th pick that the Florida Panthers acquired from the Edmonton Oilers came as part of the June 18th trade that involved former North Dakota All-American Corban Knight. The Panthers used the pick to select incoming Michigan defenseman Michael Downing.

The 143rd pick that the Buffalo Sabres acquired from the Ottawa Senators came as part of the March 30th trade that involved former Minnesota All-American Jordan Leopold. The Sabres used the pick to select incoming Providence College defenseman, Anthony Florentino.

The 161st pick that the Ottawa Senators acquired from the Dallas Stars was the compensatory pick in the Sergei Gonchar deal on June 7th. The Senators used the pick to select incoming Merrimack right wing, Chris LeBlanc.

The 164th pick that the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired from the Winnipeg Jets came as part of the Eric Tangradi trade on Feb. 13th. The Penguins used the pick to select Michigan Tech 2014 defensive recruit, Dane Birks.

Looking ahead

Goaltender Thatcher Demko and forward Nick Schmaltz are two of the top future collegians eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft. Demko is a Boston College recruit, while Schmaltz is the younger brother of Jordan Schmaltz (STL) and a North Dakota recruit.

Follow DJ Powers on Twitter via @DJPowersHF