In the 2019 NHL Draft, three incoming UConn men’s hockey players heard their names called.
Vladislav Firstov went in the second round (42 overall) to the Minnesota Wild. The forward is the second-highest draft pick in program history behind 2016 first round pick Tage Thompson. A native of Yaroslavl, Russia, Firstov “is said to have an NHL-ready shot and is an elite skater with an explosive stride” according to Wild.com’s Brian Halverson.
Next, Matej Blümel went to the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round (100 overall). The forward hails from the Czech Republic and is best known for being a burner down the ice with his speed.
Six picks later, the Florida Panthers selected Carter Berger 106th overall, also in the fourth round. The Canadian defenseman is strong on the power play and a plus passer who can provide offense from the back line.
Overall, 15 players from UConn have now been picked in the NHL Draft since head coach Mike Cavanaugh took the reigns in 2013.
And in case there’s any concern with the news of UConn leaving for the Big East, the Huskies’ hockey programs will remain unaffected and will continue to play in Hockey East.