NHL Draftees Wear Crimson

Icemen Lead Nation With Five Players Picked in 1996 Draft

And now for today's trivia bonus question: Which university had the most players selected in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft?

Contestant #1: Michigan?

Host: I'm sorry, no.

Contestant #3: Boston University?

Host: That's incorrect.


Contestant #2: Minnesota, maybe?

Host: No, I'm sorry. Harvard University had five players drafted in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft the most of any college or university and two more than Michagan, Boston University and Minnesota.

That's right: national powers. Boston University, Michigan and Minnesota each had only three players selected, as did Providence or St. Cloud State. Harvard had five, and although draft statistics don't necessarily correlate with power ratings or national rankings, Harvard's showing in the June 22 draft was impressive and may bode well for the future.

Sophomore center Craig MacDonald of Antigonish, Nova Scotia was the first Harvard player chosen. He went to the Hartford Whalers with the 88th pick overall.

"I went with my family to St. Louis [the site of this year's draft], so it was a really nice experience," MacDonald said. "The atmosphere was really exciting. Being there is every kid's dream. They call your name and you go down to the floor and they give you a jersey and team bag."

"I was expecting to go a little earlier, so it was a little tense sitting there watching the rounds go by," MacDonald added. "But when the time came and I was called, I was happy with the team that picked me."

MacDonald and fellow sophomore Craig Adams, who was selected in the ninth round by Hartford, continued the Crimson migration down I-84. The Harvard-to-Hartford connection that began with Ted Drury '92-'93 continues today with Steve Martins '95, Tripp Tracy '96, captain Ashlin Halfnight, MacDonald and Adams.

In case you're wondering, the link between the Crimson and the Whalers extends to team ownership. The Whalers are owned by Peter Karmanos, father of Jason Karmonos '96, a forward who graduated last year and is now playing for Richmond of the ECHL.

According to MacDonald, the elder Karmonos likes the character of Harvard players and comments that they have done well for him.

"Obviously, he got to watch a lot of our games, so he knows what we can do," MacDonald said.

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