Sunday, June 30, 2013

Feeling a Draft: UND Draft Day Nuggets

The 2013 NHL Entry Draft begins today at 2:00 CDT and several UND commitments are expected to hear their names called through the seven round selection process. Here are the draft profiles of the UND players with the best chance of being selected today, as well as some draft day nuggets regarding the Fighting Sioux presence at the NHL Draft:

Gage Ausmus
Luke Johnson
Tucker Poolman
Adam Tambellini
Keaton Thompson

  • A pair of incoming UND freshmen forwards are hoping to carry on the family tradition at today's draft. Grand Forks native Luke Johnson's father Steve was a supplemental pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 1987 while his uncle Chad was a 6th round pick of the New Jersey Devils in 1988. Meanwhile, Adam Tambellini's father Steve was a 1st round pick of the New York Islanders in 1978 while brother Jeff was a 1st round selection of the Los Angeles Kings in 2003.
  • Four current NHL franchises have never selected a UND player at the draft: Anaheim, Columbus, Minnesota, and Nashville. I have heard that Anaheim is high on incoming freshman defenseman Keaton Thompson, so perhaps he will become UND's first ever Duck draftee.
  • The Fighting Sioux have had 154 players taken during the draft. The first player ever selected was Roger Bamburak, who was picked by the Boston Bruins in the 3rd round of the 1963 draft, which was the NHL's first ever Amateur Draft.
  • UND has had 16 players taken during the draft's first round. The first was current Fargo Force head coach John Marks, who was taken 9th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1968. The most recent, of course, was current Sioux defenseman Jordan Schmaltz, who went 25th overall to St. Louis last year. Jonathan Toews is UND's highest-ever pick, going 3rd overall to Chicago in 2006.
  • Ten of UND's 16 first round picks have come over the course of the past 10 drafts. UND had 6 first rounders in the first 39 years of the draft's history.
  • UND has had at least one player selected in the draft in each of the past 14 years. The last time a UND player was not drafted was 1998.
  • Chicago and Montreal have been the most active NHL franchises in terms of selecting UND players. They've each done so 13 times.
  • The Vancouver Canucks have selected seven UND players at the draft, and all seven were picked over a three year span from 1987 through 1989.
  • Calgary has selected five UND players, but none since 1986 when they chose Bemidji's George Pelawa 16th overall. Pelawa, who was Minnesota's Mr. Hockey in 1986, was killed in a car crash in late August of his freshman season at North Dakota. The NHL Network produced this video a couple of years ago, looking back at the Pelawa story:

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