There was a possibility of no future NCAA players being selected in the first round of this year's NHL Draft for the first time since the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. But with the 25th overall pick in the first round, the Montreal Canadiens selected forward Michael McCarron out of the US National Team Development Program, and was the only NCAA prospect selected in the first round of the NHL Draft.
"Putting on an Original 6 jersey, it gives me chills," McCarron told media after being selected. "I was thinking [I'd be selected] second round, but was hoping for first round."
McCarron is currently committed to begin playing for Western Michigan next fall, and has reportedly been working out in Kalamazoo this summer, but almost immediately speculation was raised that McCarron may not keep that commitment, instead opting to sign with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. McCarron had initially made a commitment to play for Michigan State, before de-committing and strong considering going to Cornell to play with his older brother John, before finally settling on Western Michigan this past year.
McCarron said he will be deciding between Western Michigan and London within the next week, and will take input from Montreal on his decision. He noted both Kalamazoo and London are about 2 hours from his home in southeastern Michigan.
McCarron is a big power forward, measuring at 6'5" 220 lbs. His skating could use some improvement, but he's a very physical player that plays a pro-style game, and is viewed as having a lot of upside.