Top 10 Former College Hockey Players Currently In The NHL

Top 10 Former College Hockey Players Currently In The NHL

2014 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championship
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With Canadian Junior alumni making up the majority of the NHL it is easy to forget how many NHL players hit the books and the ice in the college hockey ranks. While it may not attract the numbers that NCAA Football or Basketball do, college hockey is immensely popular in certain parts of the country. The talent of the players is the biggest reason why so many fans tune in.

10. Gustav Nyquist: Maine Black Bears

Detroit Red Wings Nyquist
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

10. Gustav Nyquist: Maine Black Bears

Detroit Red Wings Nyquist
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

The Swedish sniper came on strong for the Detroit Red Wings this season, but earned his stripes as a Maine Black Bear. “Gus” is without question the best European to play college hockey in recent years.

9. Ben Bishop: Maine Black Bears

ben bishop
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

9. Ben Bishop: Maine Black Bears

ben bishop
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The giant member of the Tampa Bay Lightning was a Black Bear for three seasons as he frustrated NCAA shooters the way he does NHL shooters today. Few goalies have the blend of size and athleticism that Bishop does and it was on full display during his tenure at Orono.

8. Patrick Sharp

Patrick Sharp Chicago Blackhawks
Jerry Lai- USA Today Sports

8. Patrick Sharp: University of Vermont

Patrick Sharp
Jerry Lai- USA Today Sports

Before winning two Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks, the skilled forward suited up for the Vermont Catamounts. His time in the Green Mountains surely prepared him well as he is one of the league’s most underrated players.

7. Joe Pavelski: University of Wisconsin Badgers

Joe Pavelski
Rob Grabowski-USA Today Sports

7. Joe Pavelski: University of Wisconsin Badgers

Joe Pavelski
Rob Grabowski-USA Today Sports

The Sharks’ star really broke out this season playing on his second US Olympic Team and having a career high 41 goals and 79 points. Before suiting up for San Jose, Pavelski was a star for Mike Eaves’ Badgers, winning the 2006 NCAA championship.

6. Martin St. Louis

Martin St. Louis
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

6. Martin St. Louis

Martin St. Louis
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The prototypical underdog, Martin St. Louis was actually a Cat-amount at the University of Vermont before becoming the superstar he is now. While he is best remembered for winning a Stanley Cup with the Lightning then forcing his way to New York to lead the Rangers to the Final, he was a winner in college too. St. Louis and former Vezina winner/fellow underdog Tim Thomas led UVM to the 1996 Frozen Four.

5. Jonathan Quick: University of Massachusetts Minutemen

Jonathan Quick Los Angeles Kings
USA Today Sports-Gary A. Vasquez

5. Jonathan Quick: University of Massachusetts Minutemen

Jonathan Quick Los Angeles Kings
USA Today Sports-Gary A. Vasquez

While Quick has become a two-time Stanley Cup champion in Los Angeles, he was a star in college at Umass-Amherst. His stellar play brought the Minutemen to new heights before he became a King in Hollywood.

4. Ryan McDonagh: University of Wisconsin Badgers

Ryan McDonagh
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4. Ryan McDonagh: University of Wisconsin Badgers

Ryan McDonagh
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Since joining the New York Rangers, Ryan McDonagh has established himself as one of the league’s elite defensemen. Before taking his talents to Broadway he honed his game in Madison, Wisconsin and was part of a Badgers team that went to the 2010 NCAA Championship Game.

3. Duncan Keith: Michigan State Spartans

Duncan Keith
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

3. Duncan Keith: Michigan State Spartans

Duncan Keith
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Keith’s amount of Norris Trophies, Stanley Cups, and Olympic Gold Medals match his jersey number (2) and he is one of the league’s best defensemen. Before joining the Blackhawks Keith skated for the Spartans for a season and a half before leaving to become a member of the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL midway through his sophomore year.

2. Phil Kessel

Phil Kessel
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

2. Phil Kessel

Phil Kessel
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

“Phil the Thrill” arrived on campus at the University of Minnesota as a highly touted 17-year-old freshman. Kessel then proceeded to torch the NCAA’s best with 51 points in 38 games before leaving Don Lucia’s Gophers to join the Boston Bruins after being drafted as the 5th overall pick in 2006.

1. Jonathan Toews: University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux

Jonathan Toews
Rob Grabowski-USA Today Sports

1. Jonathan Toews: University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux

Jonathan Toews
Rob Grabowski-USA Today Sports

“Captain Serious” was 17-years-old during his entire freshman campaign at the University of North Dakota, but his age didn’t stop him from recording 39 points in 46 games for the Sioux. Toews would stay another year at Dakota before jumping to the Blackhawks where has become one of the best players in franchise history. Two Stanley Cups and two Olympic Gold Medals say all that needs to be said about #19.

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