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2016 NHL Draft: 12 Big Ten Players Selected

Wisconsin led the way with a pair of first round selections.

Luke Kunin was the highest drafted player with Big Ten ties, going 15th overall to the Minnesota Wild.
Luke Kunin was the highest drafted player with Big Ten ties, going 15th overall to the Minnesota Wild.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight year a Big Ten team had both a current and incoming player drafted in the first round.

Kicking off a new era, 5 of the 12 Big Ten players selected in this past weekend's NHL Draft are committed to play for Wisconsin. That total is down slightly from the 16 drafted from the conference a year ago.

Five of the six conference teams had at least one player drafted.

The Badgers had more than one first round pick for the second time in school history (2007 being the other occasion) when both Luke Kunin and Trent Frederic went Friday. Kunin, chosen 15th overall to the Minnesota Wild after leading Wisconsin last year in scoring as a freshman, ends a three year streak where Michigan had the top pick with Big Ten ties. Incoming freshman forward Frederic was selected by Boston with its second first rounder, the 29th overall pick, becoming the 11th player with college ties to go in the first round.

The Bruins were one of three teams to take more than one Big Ten player, along with Carolina and Buffalo.

Of the three with Wisconsin ties taken Saturday were two players who committed to the Badgers after Tony Granato was hired in March in US defender J.D. Greenway and Swedish defender Phillip Nyberg. Overall, the five Wisconsin players all went in the first five rounds.

Three-time defending regular season champion Minnesota had a pair of players selected in the top 76 picks when Ryan Lindgren was selected by the Bruins and the Predators took Rem Pitlick in the third round.

Michigan had three incoming freshmen drafted. Forward William Lockwood was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the third round and Nick Pastujov went to the New York Islanders in the seventh round. Sandwiched between the two forwards was goaltender Jack LaFontaine, who the Hurricanes chose 3 picks after Lockwood .

Penn State commit Brett Murray was chosen in the fourth round by the Buffalo Sabres. Ohio State incoming freshman forward Tanner Laczynski went in the sixth round to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Player School Round Pick NHL Team
Luke Kunin* Wisconsin 1 15 Minnesota Wild
Trent Frederic Wisconsin 1 29 Boston Bruins
Ryan Lindgren Minnesota 2 49 Boston Bruins
William Lockwood Michigan 3 64 Vancouver Canucks
J.D. Greenway Wisconsin 3 72 Toronto Maple Leafs"}" style="padding: 2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Toronto Maple Leafs
Jack LaFontaine Michigan 3 75 Carolina Hurricanes
Rem Pitlick+ Minnesota 3 76 Nashville Predators
Brett Murray+ Penn State 4 99 Buffalo Sabres
Max Zimmer Wisconsin 4 104 Carolina Hurricanes
Phillip Nyberg Wisconsin 5 129 Buffalo Sabres
Tanner Laczynski Ohio State 6 169 Philadelphia Flyers
Nick Pastujov Michigan 7 193 New York Islanders

*Played for Big Ten school in 2015-16

+Not expected to play college until 2017-18


Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation mostly covering both the University of Minnesota and Big Ten. You can also follow him on Twitter --