Seven college players or recruits selected in first round of 2017 NHL Draft

Massachusetts incoming freshman Cale Makar was the No. 4 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft (photo: Dan and Margaret Hickling).

Defenseman Cale Makar led seven college players or recruits in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft on Friday in Chicago.

Makar, who’s scheduled to join Massachusetts in the fall, was selected by the Colorado Avalanche with the fourth overall pick.

The Calgary native, who was ranked ninth among North American forwards by NHL Central Scouting, played last season for Brooks in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Makar said the length of time he spends at UMass will depend on how he develops.

“My intention is to play in the NHL when I’m ready,” he said. “Whenever I feel I’m ready, whenever the organization feels I’m ready, hopefully I can make that jump.”

Only Makar and Minnesota incoming freshman Casey Mittelstadt were among college-connected players selected in the opening 18 picks. Mittelstadt, a center who was ranked third, went eighth to the Buffalo Sabres.

Two college players and three recruits were among the final 13 picks of the first round.

Michigan recruit Joshua Norris, a center from the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, went 19th to San Jose.

St. Cloud State center Ryan Poehling and Boston University goaltender Jake Oettinger went back to back at 25th and 26th to Montreal and Dallas, respectively.

Terriers recruit Shane Bowers was picked by Ottawa with the 28th pick.

Eeli Tolvanen, who is committed to Boston College, went to Nashville with the 30th selection.

Rounds two through seven are Saturday at the United Center, starting at 9 a.m. CDT.

See the rankings and selections for college-connected players here.

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