NHL Drafts Two Crimson Players

Two Crimson players skated into the National Hockey League (NHL) during last Saturday draft in Buffalo, N.Y.

Steven F. Moore '01, the second highest collegiate draftee, was picked 53rd by the Colorado Avalanche and Christopher B. Bala '01 was picked 58th by the Ottawa Senators.

Moore was 24th in the NHL Central Scouting's pre-draft ranking of North American players, Bala was 47th.

Three other players were also ranked--Liam S. McCarthy '01 (91st), Timothy B. Stay '01 (150th) and Brett H. Chodrow '00 (165th)--making Harvard the U.S. college with the most ranked players this year.

Moore said he tried not to put pressure on himself by thinking about the draft beforehand.


"It's not every year you get drafted by the NHL...I just tried to have fun," Moore said.

Balla called being drafted "a great honor" and said the experience was "overwhelming."

Although Harvard Hockey Coach Ron R. Tomassoni said the draft is a "once in a life-time" opportunity for his players, he noted that the draft does not guarantee the men will play profes- sional hockey.

Bala echoed his realism about the draft.

"In my career it doesn't mean much...[because]I'm not ready to make the jump [to the NHL]," Balasaid.

Brian J. MacDonald, director of amateurscouting for the Colorado Avalanche, said the teamdrafted Moore because of the potential he hasshown.

"[Moore] showed to us that he has a greatopportunity to advance to the next level,"Macdonald said.

Like Bala, MacDonald stressed the importance ofthe players' development during their collegiatecareers. He suggested that attending Harvard doesnot always facilitate maximum improvement.

MacDonald said sometimes players "might notdevelop as well as you'd expect" because theyrarely choose to leave Harvard for the NHL beforefinishing their undergraduate educations.

Despite a tradition of top players--theAvalanche drafted Moore's team- mates Benjamin H.Storey '99 and Matthew B. Scorsune '99 in1996--MacDonald said Harvard hockey is known as an"academic program."

"I think Harvard's program is improving, butstill has a ways to go,"MacDonald said.

Liam McCarthy, who was not drafted, said teamsdo tend to review Harvard players more critically.

"The Harvard student is definitely a seriousstudent and that will put some question intoprofessional teams' minds," McCarthy said.

Yet, for players like Moore, Bala and McCarthy,Harvard maximizes total opportunities.

Although, all said, playing professional hockeyis their goal, they concurred that a Harvarddiploma functions as an industrial-strength safetynet.

"I'm not going to play hockey for my entirelife...If I can fall back on a Harvard degreethat's an advantage a lot of people don't have,"Bala said

Recommended Articles