SAINT PAUL, Minn.—Four incoming freshmen on the Harvard men’s hockey team were selected Saturday in the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft at Xcel Engergy Center, marking the greatest total of Crimson players drafted since 2002.
Harvard tied with Miami (Ohio) and Denver for the NCAA's highest total of 2011 draftees from its 2011-12 roster, according to U.S. College Hockey Online's list of drafted collegiate players.
Goaltender Stephen Michalek and forward Petr Placek were chosen in the sixth round by the host Minnesota Wild and the Philadelphia Flyers, respectively. Forward Colin Blackwell was selected by the San Jose Sharks and defenseman Max Everson was taken by the Toronto Maple Leafs, both in the seventh round.
Eighty-five Harvard players have been selected in the NHL Draft. Crimson players have been taken in 15 of the last 16 and 28 of the last 30 drafts. This year’s class of four draftees matches the fifth-highest total in program history, last reached in 2002. It is the 10th time four or more Crimson skaters have been drafted. Five have been selected on three occasions, and six were chosen in 1987.
The 2011-12 Crimson roster will feature eight NHL draftees. Fellow freshman Patrick McNally was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, one round after current junior Danny Biega. Senior Alex Killorn was taken by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third round in 2007, and junior Alex Fallstrom was a fourth-round pick of Minnesota in 2009 before his draft rights were traded to the Boston Bruins.
Michalek was chosen with the 10th pick of the sixth round and the 161st overall. He is the second Harvard player ever drafted by the Wild, joining Fallstrom. The Glastonbury, Conn., native stands 6 feet, two inches tall and weighs 196 pounds. He stopped more than 1,000 shots with a .918 save percentage at Loomis Chaffee last season. Michalek led the United States to a silver medal with an outstanding performance at the 2010 Ivan Hlinka tournament.
Placek was the 25th selection of the sixth round and the 176th pick overall. He is the seventh Crimson player to be taken by the Flyers and the first since Dov Grumet-Morris ’05 in 2002. Placek is a 6-4, 210-pound forward from Slany, Czech Republic. He comes to Harvard from The Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, where he tallied 16 goals in 24 games in 2009-10 before missing much of last season with an injury
Blackwell, a 5-9, 164-pound forward from North Andover, Mass., was chosen 13th in the seventh round, 194th overall. He is the fourth Harvard player to be selected by the Sharks, the first since former Crimson captain David MacDonald ’08 in 2004. Blackwell set a St. John’s Prep single-season scoring record with 66 points in 25 games last season, earning the Robbie Ftorek Award as the Massachusetts High School Hockey Coaches Association’s player of the year.
Everson is the brother of Harvard junior forward Marshall Everson. The younger Everson is a 6-1, 184-pound defenseman who was picked 22nd in the seventh round, 203rd overall. He helped Edina High School reach four straight Minnesota high school state tournaments, winning the state title in 2010, and was a finalist for Minnesota’s prestigious Mr. Hockey award as a senior. Matt Mallgrave ’93 is the only other Crimson skater to be taken by the Maple Leafs. He was selected in the 1988 draft.