Division I-ready college hockey players. Never have more Europeans come to the States to play college hockey.
Hundreds of Canadians choose to continue their careers at American universities. Even basketball has grown by 20 to programs. Even with the high-profile additions of Penn State and Arizona State in the past five years, hockey remains stuck at 60 Division I teams.
With 18 full scholarships available and around 24 players per team, there are roughly 1, spots to be had. And it appears unlikely that any change is imminent.
About a third of N. Division I hockey players spent at least one season in the U. The league has added teams in recent years and grown more attractive to Europeans, creating even more Division I-caliber players. According to U.
Hockey, the number of registered hockey players increased 24 percent in the past 15 years, to , in , after growing percent from to There have been spikes in participation in the Bay Area and St.
Louis, which produced five first-round picks in the N. More college teams also are recruiting in Europe, and when they are not, online services that have become available in the past decade allow coaches to watch games and track players from Europe and North America via their computers.
According to College Hockey Inc. There were only 32 five years ago. Twenty-two Europeans are on teams in the N.
Top-seeded Denver is led in scoring by Henrik Borgstrom, a freshman forward from Finland. The impact of well-developed players is evident throughout the sport. Another 13 college players or recruits played on other teams in the tournament.
Last season, 30 percent of N. Already 32 collegians from last season have made their N. Hockey and College Hockey Inc. Daly added that the league was working with member clubs on ways to promote growth in college hockey.
Also benefiting is the American Collegiate Hockey Association , which encompasses more than club teams in three divisions. Penn State and Arizona State won national championships in the A.
More than half of all Division I teams 34 have reached the N.
On Jan. Of the top 20 teams in the Jan. The Atlantic Hockey conference has been seeking to expand beyond its 11 teams for a couple of years, negotiating with two teams in the A.
Commissioner Bob DeGregorio said the earliest it could expand would be the season. Most Division I hockey programs provide the 18 maximum allowable scholarships.