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NHL Draft Preview

NOTRE DAME, Ind. The National Hockey League turns its attention to the 2020 Draft this week, albeit in virtual fashion this year. Round 1 of the draft will take place at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 6 (NBCSN), followed by Rounds 2-7 on Wednesday, Oct. 7 (NHLN). The second round will begin at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Based on the final 2020 Draft Prospect Rankings (North American), current freshmen forwards Landon Slaggert (No. 88) and Ryder Rolston (No. 102) could be selected.

Slaggert is the son of current Notre Dame Associate Head Coach Andy and the brother of current junior forward Graham. Rolston is the son of former NHLer and Stanley Cup Champion Brian Rolston, who also helped Lake Superior State win the 1992 NCAA National Championship under current Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.

Current drafted players on the Irish roster include: 

  • Junior defenseman Nate Clurman: Colorado Avalanche, sixth round/161st overall (2016)
  • Junior defenseman Nick Leivermann: Colorado Avalanche, seventh round/187th overall (2017)
  • Senior defenseman Matt Hellickson: New Jersey Devils, seventh round/214th overall (2017)
  • Junior forward Jake Pivonka: New York Islanders, fourth round/103rd overall (2018)
  • Junior defenseman Spencer Stastney: Nashville Predators, fifth round/131st overall (2018)
  • Sophomore forward Trevor Janicke: Anaheim Ducks, fifth round/132nd overall (2019)

A program-best 16 former Irish players appeared in the NHL during the 2019-20 season. The 16 alums tied for the sixth-highest total in the country (Boston College 20; Michigan 20; North Dakota 20; Minnesota 18;  Boston Univ. 17; Notre Dame 16; Wisconsin 16).

Notre Dame in the NHL Draft

  • Since the inaugural season of Irish hockey, 85 members of the Notre Dame hockey program have heard their names called at the National Hockey League Draft.
  • Since 2004, at least one current or former Irish player has been taken in the draft.
  • Additionally, 38 Irish players have been selected since head coach Jeff Jackson took over the Irish program.
  • Notre Dame has had three first round selections. Forward Riley Sheahan was a first round selection of the Detroit Red Wings in 2010 (21st overall). Before that, former defenseman Ian Cole (St. Louis, 18th overall in 2007) and former forward Kyle Palmieri (Anaheim, 26th in 2009) also were first round selections.

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