Mike Komisarek says he hasn’t thought too much about the NHL.
On Saturday, though, the Montreal Canadiens made him a top-10 pick in the NHL Entry Draft.
Komisarek, a defenseman for Michigan, was taken seventh overall by the Canadiens, and became the first college player taken in this year’s draft.
“I’m speechless right now,” Komisarek told ESPN after leaving the stage. “I’m probably the happiest kid on the face of the earth, to be taken by Montreal.
“I’m sure glad they chose me and they thought highly of me.”
In contrast to last year’s record seven collegiate picks in the first round — including the top two, Rick DiPietro and Dany Heatley — only four college players went in Saturday’s first round.
Boston College right wing Chuck Kobasew, ranked No. 20 among North American skaters by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service, went at No. 14 to the Calgary Flames.
Ohio State center R.J. Umberger was selected 16th overall by the Vancouver Canucks and teammate David Steckel went at No. 30 to the Los Angeles Kings.
Komisarek, 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, has impressed scouts with his ability to use his big frame to his advantage.
He told USCHO earlier this week he hasn’t thought too much about the NHL, a sign that he’ll return to Ann Arbor, Mich., for his sophomore season.
“[He’s] a great character kid, and we’re happy he’s our selection,” Canadiens general manager Andre Savard told ESPN.
Komisarek was the top-ranked U.S.-born player in the draft, No. 4 by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service.
Kobasew was the fourth collegiate skater ranked by the CSS, but was the second selected.
“This is a great feeling,” Kobasew told ESPN. “It’s a day I’ve been looking forward to for the last month, and really my whole life.”
Umberger had the distinction of being the first Pittsburgh native to be selected in the Entry Draft.
“He’s a player with good skating abilities and good size,” Canucks general manager Brian Burke told ESPN. “He’s going to be a factor down the road. It’s one of those things where you hope he dropped to us, and he did.”
Steckel, ranked 16th among North American skaters, impressed scouts with his speed and scoring ability.
Two other collegiate players were ranked in the top 30 among North American skaters by the CSS: Minnesota State-Mankato’s Tim Jackman was No. 21 and New Hampshire recruit Edward Caron, a center, was No. 29.