From Harvard to the NHL: A Primer

For most sports fans, the trip across the river to see a Harvard hockey game is another chance for students to demonstrate school spirit, and hopefully gain bragging rights against rival schools. But for diehard hockey fans, a night at Bright Hockey Center also holds a glimpse of the future.

Throughout the history of the program, over twenty Crimson alumni have made the transition from college to the National Hockey League, and even more have been drafted. In any given year, it is a safe bet that a handful of Harvard's players are eagerly anticipating a future at any of the professional teams.

The 2000-2001 team is clearly no exception. After the first successful recruiting class brought in under Harvard Coach Mark Mazzoleni, the Crimson boast seven potential NHL players. Captain Steve Moore and senior winger Chris Bala head up the list of draftees, followed by junior winger Kyle Clark. Sophomore classmates Dominic Moore and Brett Nowak were recently nabbed, along with rookies Tyler Kolarik and Rob Fried.


"It's amazing to think that these are the guys that are soon to become some of the best players in the NHL," Nowak said. "We play with and against a lot of these guys that we'll see in the NHL some day."


Given the history and rich success of Harvard hockey since the team's inception in 1897, it is hardly a surprise that numerous talented athletes flock to the Crimson each year. With two dozen Ivy League championships, 12 ECAC titles, and the 1989 NCAA Division I Championship, under former coach and current athletic director William Cleary '56, Harvard's tradition of superior college hockey makes it both a perennial contender and a prime location for NHL scouts.

As a result, a handful of Harvard alumni have invested time and energy in improving their game, and have emerged as veteran superstars in the NHL. Don Sweeney '88 has earned a solid reputation with the Boston Bruins, while Ted Donato '91, an integral member of the 1989 championship roster, has garnered national attention with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Ted Drury, the 20th all-time leading scorer in Crimson history, has made a name for himself throughout the league, most recently with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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