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North Dakota’s Jake Sanderson Drafted Fifth Overall by Ottawa

2018 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament - USA vs Switzerland Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

University of North Dakota freshman defenseman Jake Sanderson was the first player with NCAA ties to be selected in the 2020 NHL Draft when he was selected fifth overall by the Ottawa Senators.

Sanderson becomes the fourth player in three years from North Dakota to be selected by the Senators, joining Fighting Hawks Shane Pinto, Jacob Bernard-Docker, and Jonny Tychonick(who transferred this summer).

Sanderson took his game to another level this past season with the US NTDP U18 team, and slowly rose from the mid-first round in projected draft rankings to going fifth overall and the first defensemen to be taken.

Sanderson is a strong, steady defenseman that can lead his team from the back line. He shows smooth skating and excellent awareness with developing offensive skills. He’s a very versatile two-way defender that has upside as a top-pairing defenseman at the NHL level.