North Dakota had two players selected in the NHL Entry Draft over the weekend. Incoming freshman Jordan Schmaltz became UND's 16th first round draft choice after being chosen 25th overall by St. Louis while Paul LaDue was taken by the Los Angeles Kings in the 6th round. LaDue will arrive on campus in the fall of 2013 after playing one more season in Lincoln (USHL). Here are a few numbers and links concerning UND's newest draftees:
- By being a first round pick attending UND, Schmaltz seems like a lock to make the NHL. After Joe Finley appeared in five games with the Buffalo Sabres last season, UND's first round success rate topped out at 100%. Of course, this number does not include 1986 first rounder George Pelawa, who passed away in a car accident during the fall of his freshman year at North Dakota, or 2010 first rounders Derek Forbort and Brock Nelson, whose draft class is still much too recent to include in such analyses.
- Schmaltz was part of a record-setting first round for USHL products as six out of the 30 first rounders came from the United States' premier junior league.
- St. Louis followed the trend of a defense-heavy first-round by selecting Schmaltz, a player they feel will become a household name.
- Schmaltz and LaDue both contributed to what was a successful draft weekend for American-born players and NCAA products.
- Through the 2007 draft, UND has had eleven players chosen in the 6th round, with six (54.5%) of those making it to the NHL. That is an outstanding success rate considering how far into the draft many of those players were taken. Making it even more impressive is that four of those former Sioux were more than just cup of coffee guys. Garry Valk (777), Dave Hudson (409), Marc Chorney (210), and Mark Taylor (209) all surpassed 200 career NHL games played.
- LaDue was a 16th round selection in the 2010 USHL Entry Draft, and just two short years later he went in the 6th round of the NHL Draft. That is an impressive ascension.
- In closing, Chicago's official site had an interesting piece leading into the draft. Find out what Blackhawk scouts had to say about Jonathan Toews in the years leading up to his selection as the 3rd overall pick in 2006.