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NCAA Continues to Stock NHL

This week's issue of Let's Play Hockey magazine( will include their annual "From College to the Pros" survey that counts how many former NCAA players played at least a game in the NHL this past season. Once again, nearly one-third of NHL players had played NCAA hockey.

This year, the final count was 268 NCAA alums that saw playing time in the NHL this year. That number is slightly down from last year, when 285 former NCAA players played in the NHL, but still up from the number two years ago when 252 players played in the NHL. 39 players made their NHL debut this past season, which is a little down from totals of 65 and 53 the past two years.

Michigan once again led the way in terms of alums in the NHL, with a total of 23. Wisconsin was second with 17, followed by Boston College and Boston University with 16 each, and MInnesota and North Dakota tied at 14.

Those numbers don't seem like they'll be dropping off any time soon either. This past year, 214 NCAA players had their rights held by an NHL team, and most NHL teams continue to sign free agents out of the college ranks.