June 27, 2015
SUNRISE, Fla. – Last year Notre Dame led Hockey East and ranked third nationally with 10 NHL draft picks on its active roster and the Irish will maintain that double digit total in 2015-16 after incoming freshmen Christian Fischer and Dennis Gilbert each went in the first three rounds of the NHL Draft today.
Fischer, a 6-1, 212 pound winger from Wayne, Illinois and the U.S. Hockey National Team Development Program, went with the second pick of the second round (32nd overall) to the Arizona Coyotes. Fischer becomes the highest-drafted player who will skate for the Irish since current Detroit Red Wing Riley Sheahan went in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft, 21st overall.
Gilbert, a 6-2, 201 pound defenseman from Williamsville, New York and the USHL’s Chicago Steel, went with the final pick of the third round (91st overall) to the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. His selection gave the Irish multiple picks in the first three rounds for the first time since 2011 when Mario Lucia (Minnesota Wild) went in the second round while T.J. Tynan (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Steven Fogarty (New York Rangers) both went in the third round.
The tandem will be joined at Notre Dame this year by fellow incoming freshman Joe Wegwerth, a fourth-round pick of the Florida Panthers in the 2014 NHL Draft who played in the USHL this past winter for both Green Bay and Cedar Rapids.
In all, Notre Dame will once again have 10 NHL Draft picks on its roster in 2015-16, making it one of the talent-rich teams in the nation. The 10 are:
– Anders Bjork (Boston Bruins, 5th round, 2014)
– Thomas DiPauli (Washington Capitals, 4th round, 2012)
– Jake Evans (Montreal Canadiens, 7th round, 2014)
– Christian Fischer (Arizona Coyotes, 2nd round, 2015)
– Steven Fogarty (New York Rangers, 3rd round, 2011)
– Dennis Gilbert (Chicago Blackhawks, 3rd round, 2015)
– Connor Hurley (Buffalo Sabres, 2nd round, 2013)
– Mario Lucia (Minnesota Wild, 2nd round, 2011)
– Cal Petersen (Buffalo Sabres, 5th round, 2013)
– Joe Wegwerth (Florida Panthers, 4th round, 2014)
Notre Dame will begin its 2015-16 campaign with an exhibition against the University of Guelph on Oct. 9 at the Compton Family Ice Arena before playing its regular season opener the following weekend at Penn State.