Saturday, June 24, 2017

BLOG: 2017 NHL Draft picks at Big Ten and Minnesota schools

2017 marked three straight NHL Drafts where two players with Big Ten ties were chosen in the first round. It's the first, however, with two different teams represented.

Minnesota's Casey Mittelstadt and Michigan's Josh Norris went Friday, leading a total of 17 Big Ten players from six different schools. Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin each had four drafted.

Mittelstadt's selection by Buffalo with the eighth overall pick tied Zach Werenski as the highest drafted Big Ten player since the conference began sponsoring men's hockey in 2013. Norris went 19th overall to San Jose, one of four teams to pick two Big Ten players.

Penn State, coming off of its first Big Ten conference tournament championship and NCAA appearance, continued to hit new program highs. Among the school-record four drafted was Denis Smirnov, the nation's leading freshman scorer drafted in his third and final year of eligibility.

Smirnov is one of two players, along with Michigan defenseman Luke Martin, selected Saturday that played in the Big Ten last year.

Wisconsin went from having five draft picks in the first five rounds of 2016 (including two first round picks) to seeing four go over the final three rounds in 2017.

Nicky Leivermann and Matthew Hellickson became Notre Dame's first two players drafted in the Fighting Irish Big Ten era.

Along with the Big Ten, in-state schools St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth each had multiple players hear their names called. The Huskies had a player drafted in the first round for a second consecutive year when Montreal selected Ryan Poehling with the 25th overall pick. (Poehling was one of three players from the "State of Hockey" drafted in the first round, along with Mittelstadt and Boston University goaltender Jake Oettinger.)

UMD's Dylan Samberg didn't have to wait too long Saturday. Winnipeg chose the Hermantown native, one of four Bulldogs to go in the draft's second day, in the second round with the 43rd overall pick. Nick Swaney, meanwhile, was the only Minnesotan to be picked by the Minnesota Wild.

A complete list is below. Additionally, a more detailed University of Minnesota recap can be found here.

Big Ten


-F Josh Norris, 1st round, 19th overall (San Jose)
-D Luke Martin, 2nd round, 52nd overall (Carolina)+

Michigan State

-F Skyler Brind'Amour, 177th overall (Edmonton)*


-F Casey Mittelstadt, 1st round, 8th overall (Buffalo)
-D Clayton Phillips, 3rd round, 93rd overall (Pittsburgh)+
-F Scott Reedy, 4th round, 102nd overall (San Jose)
-F Sammy Walker, 7th round, 200th overall (Tampa)+

Notre Dame

-F Nicky Leivermann, 7th round 187th overall (Colorado)
-D Matthew Hellickson, 7th round, 214th overall (New Jersey)

Ohio State


Penn State

-F Evan Barratt, 3rd round, 90th overall (Chicago)
-D Cole Hults, 5th round, 134th overall (Los Angeles)
-F Denis Smirnov, 6th round, 156th overall (Colorado)+
-F Aarne Talvite, 6th round, 160th overall (New Jersey)*


-D Tyler Inamoto, 5th round, 133rd overall (Florida)
-F Linus Weissbach, 7th round, 192nd overall (Buffalo)
-D Wyatt Kalynuk, 7th round, 196th overall (Philadelphia)
-D Joshua Ess, 7th round, 215th overall (Chicago)

Minnesota schools

Bemidji State


Minnesota Duluth

-D Dylan Samberg, 2nd round, 43rd overall (Winnipeg)
-D Mikey Anderson, 4th round, 103rd overall (Los Angeles)
-F Noah Cates, 5th round, 137th overall (Philadelphia)*
-F Nick Swaney, 7th round, 209th overall (Minnesota)

Minnesota State


St. Cloud State

-F Ryan Poehling, 1st round, 25th overall (Montreal)+
-D Nick Perbix, 6th round, 169th overall (Tampa)
-F Cole Guttman, 6th round, 180th overall (Tampa)*

All players are incoming freshman unless marked
+Spent 2016-17 in college
*Verbal commit not expected until 2018-19

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