The Colorado Avalanche picked defenceman Cale Makar from Calgary, Alta. with the fourth selection of the draft. Makar, who toiled this past season for the Brooks Bandits of the AJHL, was named top performer in the Canadian Junior Hockey League in 2016-17.
The 18-year-old is headed to the University of Massachusetts Minutemen for his freshman season beginning in September.
Another Canuck who heard his name called in the first round was Halifax, N.S. native Shane Bowers who went to the Ottawa Senators with the 28th overall pick.
Bowers, who shunned the CHL for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL, was a member of the Canadian Under-18 squad in 2016-17 and also took part in the USHL Prospects game. He had 51 points (22G, 29A) in 60 games with the Black Hawks in 2016-17 and tallied 84 points in 116 games over the past two campaigns.
The centre iceman has committed to Boston University Terriers for the 2017-18 campaign.
Two other players, both defencemen, from north of the border were selected in the second round of the draft.
King City, Ont. native Mario Ferraro, who will join Makar at UMass this coming season, went 49th overall to the San Jose Sharks while Ian Mitchell from Calahoo, Alta. was chosen by the Chicago Black Hawks with the 57th overall selection. He is headed to the reigning NCAA champion University of Denver Pioneers this fall.
Ferraro played last season for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL where he put up 41 points (8G, 33A) in 50 games. He played the previous two seasons with the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots of the OJHL.
Mitchell has played the past three seasons with the Spruce Grove Saints of the AJHL, totalling 64 points (14G, 50A) in 109 games.
Four other NCAA connected players heard their names called in the opening round while three others were picked in round two.
The first-rounders included forward Casey Mittelstadt (Minnesota Golden Gophers) to the Buffalo Sabres at eighth, forward Josh Norris (Michigan Wolverines) to the San Jose Sharks at 19th, forward Ryan Poehling (St. Cloud State Huskies) to the Montreal Canadiens at 25th, and goaltender Jake Oettinger (Boston University Terriers) to the Dallas Stars at 26th.
Oettinger is the first college goaltender selected in the first round of the draft since Cory Schneider (Boston College) went 26th overall to the Vancouver Canucks in 2004.
The three other student-athletes picked in the second round of this year's draft were defenceman Dylan Samberg (Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs) to the Winnipeg Jets at 43rd overall, defenceman Luke Martin (Michigan Wolverines) to the Carolina Panthers at 52nd and forward Grant Mismash (North Dakota Fighting Hawks) to the Nashville Predators at 61st.
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