Influx of NCAA talent continues to flow to NHL ranks.
A record 66 players from NCAA hockey have signed NHL contracts this offseason, an increase of 18% from last season and an average of more than one per Division I team.
This influx of NHL entry-level contracts is the latest sign of college hockey’s growing success at the NHL level. In addition:
- More than half of the players (56%) on the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins played NCAA hockey
- A record 11 NCAA players were taken in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft
- 30% of all NHL players played college hockey, including 33% of all players who made their debut last season
Of the 66 NHL signings, 82% played at least three years of college hockey. Two-thirds had been selected in the NHL Draft.
Boston College and Michigan had the most players sign with seven each, followed by North Dakota (6), Providence (5) and St. Cloud State (4). Anaheim, Minnesota and the New York Rangers each signed five NCAA players, tied for the most among the 25 NHL teams to sign college players.