Big Ten Players in the NHL

Story posted October 25, 2018 in Sports by Nathan Pullen

The Big Ten, which is agruably the best conference in college hockey, has put a slew of players into the NHL since its inaugural 2013-14 season.  The conference’s alumni are really making their presences known early in this 2018-19 NHL season.

In Penn State news, goalie Eamon McAdam was called up to Toronto in emergency status while Fredrik Anderson dealt with a knee issue. This was the Penn State alumnus' first taste in the NHL. McAdam went to the Maple Leafs as part of the Matt Martin trade.

Young star Dylan Larkin has already tallied four goals and three assists despite playing for an abysmal 1-6 Detroit team.

He may have only played one year in the Big Ten with Michigan before jumping into professional hockey, but in that time he recorded an average of 1.43 points per game and was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

Another former Wolverine and Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Kyle Connor, is making his mark north of the border in Winnipeg. He’s grabbed eight points in nine games for a Jets team that’s poised to make a run at the central division this season.

The eighth pick in the 2018 NHL draft is off to a less than favorable start, with only one assist and a -4 +/- rating in his first nine NHL games.

He’s not the only former Minnesota Golden Gopher having a bad start to the 2018 season; Vegas Golden Knight’s defenseman Nate Schmidt has been suspended 20 games for a violation of the NHL’s Performance Enhancing Drug Program. He will be eligible to return on Nov. 18 when the Golden Knights will travel to Edmonton.

Wisconsin only has one Big Ten alumni in the NHL. Defenseman Jake Mccabe of the Buffalo Sabres, who is in his sixth NHL season, has tallied three points on the year.

While the Buckeye’s don’t have alumni in the NHL that played for the school during their Big Ten days, Ohio State has five current players that have been drafted by NHL teams: two seniors, two juniors and a freshman.

With Notre Dame joining the Big Ten just prior to the 2017-18 season, it doesn't have any Big Ten alumni in the NHL either. It does, however, have two players that have moved into the NHL since last season, and eight players that have been drafted.

With college hockey becoming a more prominent gateway into the NHL, we’ll likely be seeing more and more alumni of the Big Ten and other conferences making their way into the league in the very near future.



Nathan Pullen is a journalism major. To contact him, email at