It didn’t take long after the Frozen Four ended with Denver University capturing the school’s ninth national title for a large group of college players to turn pro. Two of the biggest names out there, Matt Beniers (Hingham, Mass.) and Ben Meyers, wasted no time in making their presence felt on their new NHL teams.
Beniers played a lot of minutes and registered an assist in his first NHL contest against the Calgary Flames on April 12. He followed up four nights later with his first NHL goal and more than 18 minutes of ice time in the Seattle Kraken’s 4-3 shootout win. The Hingham native led the Michigan Wolverines in scoring as a sophomore after being the second overall selection in 2021, and also participated in the 2022 World Jr. Championship (canceled after just one game played by Team USA) and the Winter Olympics. Watch for him to make it an IIHF hat trick to play for the David Quinn-coached U.S. Men’s World Championship team next month, with Seattle being out of the playoffs.
The hottest undrafted free agent on the open market, Meyers had his pick of myriad NHL suitors, and chose to sign with the powerhouse Colorado Avalanche. He scored in his first NHL game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Here we'll track some of the other recent signings, plus look at some big NCAA names who will return to school but are expected to turn pro in 2023.