Over the past four NHL drafts, 13 Hockey East players have been drafted following their freshman seasons. Of those 13 players, 10 were in their second or third season of draft eligibility.
Two of the three players in their first year of eligibility, Boston University forward Brady Tkachuk and goaltender Jake Oettinger, were first-round picks. UConn defenseman Yan Kuznetsov was the other, going in 2020 to the Calgary Flames in the second round.
All three of those players were elite talents well-known to scouts and thought to be top prospects for quite some time. However, there’s another end of the spectrum. The other 10 Hockey East freshmen selected since 2017 were players who might have taken off or possibly were just under the radar in junior hockey.