Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ranking American Colleges For Future NCAA Hockey Players

If you are a quality young hockey player in your high school years who would like to attend college and possibly play professional hockey afterwards, what school should you attend? Perhaps you have already been drafted or you hope to be drafted, what schools best help your chances? Let me drop the disclaimer that I am not ranking based on how nice the school is or the quality of the education, but rather each school's propensity to produce NHL hockey players. 40% of players drafted to the NHL who play in the NCAA will go on to play at least 5 NHL games. The NCAA has a very good batting average at producing NHL players, but the margin of error is far higher for players drafted out of high school, the USHL, or tier II junior who then advance to college. The quality of the competition in American high schools is not at a high enough level to accurately forecast the probability of that youngster becoming a pro.

Using a database of all players drafted from 1995-2003 (excluding goaltenders) who were both drafted out of the NCAA and drafted from the USHL, high school, or junior who went on to play NCAA; I produced a composite ranking based on 1) total number of players drafted to the NHL, 2) probability of playing at least 5 NHL games, 3) total NHL games played by all players who attended that school, and 4) average draft spot. A school had to have at least 5 players drafted into the NHL to make the list (sorry dad, Yale didn't make the cut), and players who played for more than one college were slotted with the school they were attending when drafted, otherwise the first school they attended after being drafted. This database does not measure players who were never drafted to the NHL, like Marty St. Louis.

First place was very close between the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota, with Boston College rounding out the top 3.

rankSchool   Score
1) University of Michigan 11.25
2) University of Minnesota 11.17
3) Boston College 10.28
4) University of North Dakota 9.52
5) Michigan State University 9.17
6) University of Wisconsin 7.14
7) St Cloud State 7.07
8) Boston University 6.72
9) University of Denver 6.48
10)Harvard University 6.37
11) Ohio State University 6.18
12) Colorado College 5.29
13) University of Maine 5.09
14) Dartmouth College 3.73
15) Providence College 3.47
16) Clarkson University 3.38
17) Notre Dame 3.09
18) University of Minnesota-Duluth 2.54
19 ) Cornell University 2.51
20) Bowling Green State University 2.32
21) Northeastern University 2.07
22) University of New Hampshire 1.61
23) University of Nebraska-Omaha 1.40
24) Northern Michigan University 1.32
25) R.P.I. 0.53

The next list is the average duration of an NCAA playing career at each school (for players who have been drafted into the NHL).

1) St. Lawrence University 3.89
2) Colorado College 3.88
3) Harvard University 3.86
4) Cornell University 3.83
5) Providence College 3.79
6) Notre Dame 3.75
7) R.P.I. 3.75
8) Michigan State University 3.69
9) University of New Hampshire 3.69
10)Boston College 3.65
11) University of Denver 3.60
12) Dartmouth College 3.60
13) Boston University 3.57
14) Northeastern University 3.55
15) University of Minnesota 3.52
16) University of Michigan 3.40
17) University of Maine 3.38
18) Bowling Green State University 3.38
19 ) University of Wisconsin 3.35
20) Ohio State University 3.27
21) Northern Michigan University 3.22
22) University of North Dakota 3.13
23) St Cloud State 3.00
24) Clarkson University 3.00
25) University of Nebraska-Omaha 2.67

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