Surveying the national post season honors and the NHL Entry draft provides interesting off season conversation for college hockey fans.
After all, a summer of longing for the return of college hockey allows your mind to wander.
One day, I thought to myself, with four All Americans, five NHL draft picks and the reigning Hobey winner, could it be that little Colorado College, the school I’m privileged to follow as radio and TV play by play announcer, leads the nation? (The All-America and NHL Draft Choice totals were school records, to the best of our recollection. So that’s what’s motivated the effort.)
Now, having said that, it might be fun to track this in future years to lend some credibility to not only who’s doing well in competition, but who’s winning the recruiting battles? The nature of the NHL draft is likely more reflective of what schools are doing a good job of identifying talent early in players’ careers, as opposed to the NBA and NFL drafts, which are more a measure of how a player has developed years after arriving at college.
This survey covers the gamut as the NHL entry draft measures youth, while All-American and Hobey awards measure development later in a player’s career.
What the numbers told me on paper is what I think we saw on the ice, and, will see on the ice in the future. Colorado College, Cornell, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Boston College are the clubs that have worked the youth and experience angle to success. Colorado College and Cornell at the top of the heap seems to indicate that there’s enough youth to keep them as competitive in seasons to come as the usual top four or five suspects.
The numbers also tell me that at this time next year, we should look at the numbers again, and see if CC and Cornell have any staying power among those usual suspects.
The following listings rank the NCAA Division I hockey programs based on total players from the 2002-03 season, who received the coveted status of Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner, All-America, and drafted by the National Hockey League.
The totals also reflect, by the mere nature of the NHL Entry draft, some incoming recruited players to the programs listed below.
|St Cloud State||2||0||2|
Colorado College led the nation in both NHL Entry Draft Picks last weekend, and All-Americans selected at the end of the 2002-03 college hockey season.
CC’s five NHL picks was equally those of Cornell (ECAC), Michigan (CCHA) and defending NCAA Champions Minnesota (WCHA).
Cornell and New Hampshire (HEA) had three All-America selections, one less than national leader Colorado College, which had four.
The WCHA outdistanced HEA with nine more players receiving post-season recognition, 32-23, with 13 more than the CCHA, 15 more than the ECAC. The MAAC and CHA, combined, had one awarded player.