NHL draft first-round impact on NCAA
The first round of this year's NHL draft was busier for players with college ties than it was in 2008, when a scant four players were among the first 30 selections, but nowhere near as busy as the 2007 first round, when 11 players with college ties were chosen.
Below is a rundown of the collegiate prospects who were first-rounders in this year's draft. For the complete list of picks, check out ESPN.com's complete draft coverage.
2009 NHL DRAFT FIRST-ROUND PICKS 16 Minnesota Wild Nick Leddy D Eden Prairie (Minn.) HS Minnesota recruit
NHL Central Scouting says: "He's such an explosive skater. It's pretty obvious he's a target of every opposing team because he's the engine that drives the train. Really, though, he's a world-class skater. I'd say he's in the same class as John Moore [Central Scouting's No. 8-ranked skater] and Josh Birkholz [No. 33] of this year's class."
18 Montreal Canadiens Louis Leblanc F Omaha (USHL) Harvard recruit
NHL Central Scouting says: "The most impressive things about Louis Leblanc are his hands and his evasiveness with the puck; that separates him from other players on the ice right away. He needs to fill out a little bit yet, but he has the frame to be a big center. The other part of LeBlanc's game that I noticed was his vision; his ability to see and dissect a play and to make the right play. He's also very competitive and he gets involved in the play."
19 New York Rangers Chris Kreider F Phillips Andover (Mass.) Academy Boston College recruit
NHL Central Scouting says: "Kreider is an excellent skater with explosive speed and acceleration. His short-distance speed is exceptional. He sees the play ahead of time and knows what he's going to do with the puck as soon as he gets it. He is an excellent passer and playmaker. His foot speed, combined with his anticipation and quick stick, gives him the ability to create turnovers and gain puck possession. He is a constant threat to develop breakaways on the penalty-killing unit. He has both an excellent wrist and slap shot, which he disguises well and releases quickly. He can score goals in a number of ways."
21 Columbus Blue Jackets John Moore D Chicago (USHL) Colorado College recruit
NHL Central Scouting says: "I watched John Moore as an underage player and I knew he was a must-see player for this year; he hasn't disappointed me one bit. His first two strides are like Paul Coffey and he has been labeled as a world-class skater. He is poised with the puck, he gets his shots through to the net and he has gotten a lot stronger this season. He resembles [Calgary Flames] defenseman Jordan Leopold, and similar to Leopold at the same age, he needs to get a little bit better at playing more aggressive and more physical; but John is going to be a one-two defenseman in the NHL."
22 Vancouver Canucks Jordan Schroeder F Minnesota
NHL Central Scouting says: "He's a dynamic player, a leader and a type of player that has developed into a complete offensive and defensive threat every time he is on the ice. He has a rocket of a wrist shot and he can beat you by putting the puck in the net, going around a defender or freezing the goaltender and passing it off to one of his wingers. The concern is going to be his overall size, like there was with Scott Gomez, with Brian Gionta and with Patrick Kane, but at the same age he is probably a little thicker and a little bit more compact than they were. He's a great hockey player."
26 Anaheim Ducks Kyle Palmieri F U.S. NTDP Notre Dame recruit
NHL Central Scouting says: "Kyle's got a little bit of Chris Drury in him. I look at his passion, his natural skills and his tenaciousness, and that's what I saw in Chris. He's a lot of fun to watch because he has that vision along with a wicked shot. He very seldom passes up the opportunity to make the right play -- he's in position to shoot the puck and has that insight into whether to freeze and dish or just let it go."
28 Chicago Blackhawks Dylan Olsen D Camrose (AJHL) Minnesota Duluth recruit
For more on college hockey, check out Inside College Hockey.
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