Of the 30 players selected in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft, exactly one-tenth of them honed their craft on the rinks of Massachusetts.
North Chelmsford’s Jack Eichel, Norwood’s Noah Hanifin and Hanover’s Colin White all heard their names called Thursday night at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.
Eichel, fresh off a Hobey Baker Award-winning season at Boston University, was taken second overall by the Buffalo Sabres. The 18-year-old joined the Terriers as the most highly touted recruit in ages, and he came as advertised, leading the nation in scoring with 71 points (26 goals, 45 assists). That point total was the highest by any freshman since Paul Kariya.
Hanifin came off the board just three picks later, going fifth overall to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Boston College product was the top-rated defenseman in the draft, and there was plenty of speculation that the Boston Bruins — who owned the 13th, 14th and 15th picks after trading Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic — might trade up to nab him at No. 3.
Both of the aforementioned draftees should see NHL action far sooner than White, who has committed to BC and is expected to begin his freshman season with the Eagles this fall. A product of the USA U-18 National Team Development Program, he was selected by the Ottawa Senators with the 21st overall pick.
White also provided one of the highlights of the first round when he (probably accidentally) left NHL commissioner Gary Bettman hanging upon arriving on stage.
Nice job, kid.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images
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