The top NHL prospects playing in the 2024 NCAA hockey tournament


Everywhere that Boston College coach Greg Brown looks, he sees NHL-level talent.

It’s not just on his own roster, where highly touted prospects like Cutter Gauthier (Anaheim Ducks) and Will Smith (San Jose Sharks) helped power the Eagles to the No. 1 seed in the Division I men’s hockey tournament starting this week.

He also sees it around the nation.

“It’s great for college hockey,” Brown told ESPN recently. “I think more and more people see it as a very viable path to get to the NHL, so you can not only come here, get your education, but you can play top-level hockey and hopefully make a career of it, if that’s what interests you.”

More and more NHL teams are seeking out NCAA players in the draft and free agency.

“I think every year the percentage of college players increases in the NHL. It’s just a great trend,” Brown said. “I think now you see not just American kids, but people from all over the world coming [to the NCAA], because they see college hockey as a great option to not only get an education but fulfill their dreams of playing professionally.”

The 16-team bracket is set. The puck drops on the 2024 men’s NCAA hockey tournament starting Thursday, with the Frozen Four scheduled for April 11 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Here’s a look at some of the names in this year’s NCAA tournament with current and future NHL connections, from draft prospects to previous selections to the free agents whom pro teams will be chasing.

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Las Vegas News Magazine

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