Five Harvard men's hockey players were selected Saturday in the 1996 NHL draft.
Sophomore center Craig MacDonald and sophomore defenseman Ben Storey were selected in the fourth round, first-year goalie J.R. Prestifilippo went in the seventh, first-year defenseman Matt Scorsune went in the eighth and sophomore right-winger Craig Adams was picked in the ninth.
MacDonald, a native of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, was drafted by the Hartford Whalers. MacDonald became a prominent part of Harvard's offense during the second half of the 1995-96 season after Harvard's three top scorers (all seniors) were benched with injuries.
Hartford also drafted Calgary native Adams in the ninth round. Adams came on strong this season, scoring Harvard's first goal of the season against Brown and its first goal of the playoffs against St. Lawrence.
According to Whalers spokesperson Frank Polmaszek, it is highly unusual for the organization to select college teammates in the same draft. Last year, the Whalers drafted Harvard defense star Ashlin Halfnight '97, bringing the number of Harvard students in the organization to three.
Storey, who was drafted by the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, was a major contributor to Harvard's upset of St. Lawrence in the ECAC quarterfinals. A native of Ottawa, Storey rounds out Harvard's Canadian contribution to the NHL.
The Avalanche also picked Scorsune, who said he "hoped, more than expected," to be drafted. Scorsune said he has never been out west, but he aspires to make the move after graduation.
Scorsune awaited the draft results with teammate and high school classmate Prestifilippo, who was picked by the Islanders.
Prestifilippo said he had no idea he was going to be drafted. Although a Devils fan by heredity and environment, the 5 foot 11 inch goalie said, "I'm an Islander fan now."
The underclassmen got extra ice time this season when Harvard's starting line was decimated by injuries. At one point, nine players were sidelined with injuries, including Harvard's three top scorers.
But the young talent stepped up, and after upsetting St. Lawrence in the ECAC quarterfinals, the team went on to overcome Vermont before falling to Cornell in the finals.