United States hockey was well represented at the National Hockey League Draft today. This is a giant win for the US National Development Under 17’S and Under 18’S team. The talent that these groups are producing is incredible. More importantly, it shows hockey in the United States is taking the right steps to competing with the rest of the world.
The first overall pick Jack Hughes is a superstar in the making. The New Jersey Devils have to be excited about their choice. Hughes is the eighth American to be honored by being the top pick of the draft. Jack’s brother Quinn is also an NHL player. He was drafted by the Canucks the year before. So Hughes comes from a proficiently skilled hockey family.
Alex Turcotte and Trevor Zegras round out the top ten picks in the draft. Yes, three Americans made the top ten in the NHL Draft. Turcotte goes number five overall to the Los Angeles Kings and Zegras is picked at number nine. Both Turcotte and Zegras have tremendous offensive abilities and can play a two-way, 200-foot game. So these two are not just one-dimensional players.
The USND team can be found from picks twelve to fifteen. That puts the total number to seven. Yes, seven in the top fifteen picks. Eight picks total in the first round. That’s an extraordinary accomplishment. All these picks are highly skilled and regarded as having top end talent. One of those picks was goalie Spencer Knight. Knight was the first goalie taken off the board.
“He is a big athletic dynamic young player with the potential to be an elite goaltender at the NHL level.”Dale Tallon – Florida Panthers GM
Knight is only the tenth American goalie to be taken in the first round. Which really speaks to the talent that Knight has. I mean this number would also tell you this. In thirty-nine games Knight posted a 32-4-1 record, allowed only 2.36 goals per game along with a save percentage of .913 and two shutouts.
As you can see the USND team really took huge strides in the first round of the NHL Draft. This team really manufactures high end talented forwards, defensemen, and goaltenders. The forwards they produce have great two way abilities, strength on the puck, and great offensive ability. The defensemen all have great ability as well.
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