AHL College Additions and the NCAA Hockey Tournament

This weekend marks conference tournament time for all five college hockey leagues.   Each league will crown a champion that gets an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

However, several teams, including the Wisconsin Badgers, have already been eliminated from the NCAA tournament discussion, while other teams’ seasons will come to an end this weekend.  Therefore, AHL and NHL clubs will start to see former college player filter into their ranks in the coming weeks.

Here is a list of eliminated teams, bubble schools and NCAA tournament locks.  Seniors from the eliminated schools, plus players who decide to leave early, can sign professional contracts and move on to the next step in their hockey careers (Author’s Note, I did not include the Atlantic Hockey Conference because only that league’s auto-bid will make the field).


Eliminated teams:  Michigan Tech, Minnesota, Minnesota State-Mankato, St. Cloud State and Wisconsin.

Bubble teams or teams that need to win their conference tournament to advance:  Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Colorado College, Nebraska-Omaha.

NCAA locks (teams listed 10th or higher in the Pair-Wise Rankings):  Denver, Minnesota-Duluth, North Dakota.


Eliminated teams:  Alaska-Fairbanks, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Michigan State, Northern Michigan, Ohio State.

Bubble teams or teams that need to win their conference tournament to advance:  Western Michigan.

NCAA locks:  Michigan, Miami, Notre Dame.

Hockey East

Eliminated Teams:  Boston University, Maine, Massachusetts, Massachusetts-Lowell, Providence, Vermont.

Bubble teams or teams that need to win their conference tournament to advance:  New Hampshire, Northeastern.

NCAA locks:  Boston College and Merrimack.


Eliminated teams:  Brown, Clarkson, Harvard, Princeton, Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence.

Bubble teams or teams that need to win their conference tournament to advance:  Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, RPI.

NCAA locks:  Union, Yale.

2 thoughts on “AHL College Additions and the NCAA Hockey Tournament”

  1. More importantly what is missing from this is – do the Preds and/or Admirals have sights on any college prospects this year?

  2. The reason why I wrote this blog had to do with the fact that the Wisconsin Badgers have been eliminated from the NCAA tournament. Therefore, the top Badgers, including defenseman Jake Gardiner, Justin Schultz and Predators draft pick Craig Smith all with at least a year remaining of college eligibility could turn professional. Gardiner has already signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs and has been assigned to the Marlies. Schultz and Smith are leaning toward another year at Wisconsin.
    Several other prominent college teams with NHL caliber talent, including Boston University, Maine, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State will see their rosters pilfered in the coming weeks. There isn’t really the space in one blog to speculate on everyone Nashville/Milwaukee could be targeting as far as free agents, but I did want to make note that all of the AHL rosters will see significant changes to their rosters in the next few weeks. Milwaukee does have a lot of prior history finding players from the CCHA, so that is a good place to start. Once Windsor’s season is over, you can be sure that Nashville will be pushing Ryan Ellis to make the jump to the professional ranks.

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