by Dan Adkisson
As the college hockey season came to an end a few months back, many players began looking to take their game to the next level and enter the professional ranks. While there are already many great players in the NHL right now who came from college hockey, there are several others who are about to make their mark.
Here are five top college hockey players to keep an eye on when National Hockey League training camps open soon.
Luke Hughes, New Jersey Devils
Luke Hughes will soon be a defenseman for the New Jersey Devils and is expected to be one of the top young players in the NHL. He was drafted 4th overall by the Devils in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, he put up 39 points in 41 games at the University of Michigan. Hughes is an excellent two-way defenseman who has great skating ability and a tremendous shot. He has a bright future ahead of him.
Matty Beniers, Seattle Kraken
Another player coming from the University of Michigan, Matty Beniers is one of the handful of top prospects who recently joined the NHL. Playing in 10 games last season, he is already making an impact at the pro level. The 19-year-old center has impressed with his two-way play. He is a smart player with great hockey IQ and he knows how to find the back of the net. Beniers has already shown that he can be a valuable player at the NHL level and he should only continue to get better as he gains more experience.
Bobby Brink, Philadelphia Flyers
Originally selected in the second round at the 2019 Draft, Bobby Brink is — on pun intended — on the brink of becoming a breakout star in the NHL. Still just 19 years old, the young winger made his NHL debut this past season and has quickly become a key player for the Flyers. Brink is an excellent skater with great speed and he knows how to put the puck in the net. He is already one of the best young players in the league and should only continue to improve.
Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins
After three solid years at the University of Maine, Jeremy Swayman found himself up with the Boston Bruins for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs (serving as a backup). Originally selected back in 2017, the Anchorage, AK native was a fourth round pick. Playing in 100 college games for the Black Bears, he posted a 47-34-18 record and .927 save percentage. During his final year of NCAA hockey, Swayman earned Hockey East’s Player of the Year and Goaltender of the Year honors. At 6-foot-3 and just 23 years old, he’s already one of the best young goaltenders in the NHL and should only continue to get better.
Matt Coronato, Calgary Flames
Matt Coronato is another highly talented young player who will be looking to make his mark in the NHL soon. The 19-year-old winger put up 36 points in 34 games with Harvard last season. A recent first round pick for Calgary (2021), Coronato is a great skater with good speed and he knows how to score for his team. Scouts and coaches are said to love his compete level and the Flames are likely eagar to add him to their NHL talent pool sooner rather than later.
These are five of the top college hockey players to watch in the NHL right now. All of these players are extremely talented and have already made a big impact in the league. And with their games being broadcasted to millions of people around the globe, their future seems bright. Fans can place bets and find the best NHL odds at the FanDuel sportsbook. If you’re a fan of any of these teams, you should be excited about the future as these players should only continue to get better.