June 26, 2009 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Leddy First NCAA Player Taken at 16; Schroeder Slips to 22

CHN Staff Report

MONTREAL — Minnesota's Jordan Schroeder, the Central Scouting Service's highest-ranked NCAA or NCAA-bound player on this year's draft list, slipped to 22nd in the first round, the fifth such player to be taken.

Schroeder was one of seven NCAA or NCAA-bound players selected in the first round of this year's NHL Draft, held Friday in Montreal. Rounds 2-7 are Saturday. Seven first rounders were American, with six of those being NCAA or NCAA-bound players.

Minnesota Gophers recruit Nick Leddy was the first American, and first NCAA-bound player to be selected, and it made a splash; the Eden Prairier, Minn., native was selected No. 16 by the hometown Minnesota Wild.

The only Canadian-born NCAA-bound player taken in the first round was Louis Leblanc of Pointe-Claire, Quebec, who was selected No. 18 by his hometown team, Montreal, drawing a large cheer from the crowd at the Molson Centre. Leblanc played for Omaha of the USHL last season, and is headed to Harvard.

The seven NCAA first rounders is up from last year's four — though last year, eight Americans were selected. The record NCAA first-round players is 11, which happened two years ago.

All seven of this year's picks, however, were selected between 16th and 28th. It's the lowest first selection for an NCAA player since Mike Van Ryn went No. 26 in the 1998 draft. The last time the NCAA did not have a player in the top seven was 1999, when Jeff Jillson went No. 14.

After Leddy and Leblanc, Boston College-bound Chris Kreider was taken by the New York Rangers at No. 19. Then went Colorado College recruit John Moore at No. 21 to Columbus, followed by Schroder to Vancouver.

Kyle Palmieri, a U.S. National team player who is headed to Notre Dame, was taken No. 26 by Anaheim.

"I think Kyle’s got a little bit of Chris Drury in him. I look at his passion, his natural skills and his tenaciousness, and that’s what I saw in Chris," NHL Central Scouting’s Jack Barzee said of Palmieri. "He’s a lot of fun to watch because he has that vision along with a wicked shot. He very seldom passes up the opportunity to make the right play — he’s in position to shoot the puck and has that insight into whether to freeze and dish or just let it go."

Dylan Olsen, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, who played last season in the Alberta League, was taken No. 28 by Chicago, rounding out the first-round NCAA selections. Olsen is headed to Minnesota-Duluth next season.

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