It was a long wait, but Northeastern finally got their first recruit on the NHL Draft board when Cayden Primeau was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the 7th round, 199th overall. He is the first Northeastern goalie to be drafted since Mike Veisor was drafted in 1991.
Montreal traded into the 7th round to acquire Primeau, dealing a 7th rounder next year to Philadelphia. This was a far cry from where we saw Primeau projected for the better part of the last year, but we are thrilled for him to have been drafted nonetheless! Primeau is now likely slated to attend the Montreal Development Camp in July, where he will learn from an exceptional goalie staff as well as the best goalie in the world, Carey Price. Primeau will be joined there by fellow Hockey East goalie Hayden Hawkey- Hawkey was a Montreal draft pick back in 2014.
After being selected, a video package of Primeau aired, and he listed Pekka Rinne as a goalie he likes to watch, citing Rinne’s use of his athleticism as a key feature he enjoys seeing and trying to emulate.
Incoming freshman forward and reigning USHL Top Scorer/US Junior Player of the Year Zach Solow went undrafted, a surprise to be sure. The last player to lead the USHL in scoring during his first draft year and not be selected in the draft was Jack Connolly in 2007-08. Connolly was an undersized centerman who played four seasons at Minnesota-Duluth, serving as their captain in 2011-12. Connolly put up 197 points as a Bulldog, and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award twice, winning the Award in 2012. While it is impractical to expect that to be Solow’s career progression at this stage, it goes to show that not being drafted while dominating the USHL is not a death sentence, and Solow is a talent who we still expect to have an immediate, profound impact when he suits up for the Huskies.
Other undrafted, yet eligible, Huskies recruits included forwards Neil Shea, Alex Mella, Jamie Armstrong, Julian Kislin, and Matt DeMelis, and current Huskies Eetu Selanne, Bobby Hampton, Lincoln Griffin, and Grant Jozefek. Of that group, Neil Shea was the only one that seemed as if he may be on NHL teams’ radars entering the day. Shea is projected to join NU aa a freshmanin the 2018-19 season.
Next season, Northeastern will have seven drafted players on the roster: Jeremy Davies (New Jersey), Ryan Shea (Chicago), Adam Gaudette (Vancouver), Dylan Sikura (Chicago), Matt Filipe (Carolina), Nolan Stevens (St. Louis), and Primeau (Montreal).
Every team in Hockey East had a player drafted, with Boston University leading the pack with seven. Providence had three selected, New Hampshire, UConn, and UMass had two, Boston College, Merrimack, Maine, Vermont, and UMass-Lowell had one.