College

The top NCAA hockey alumnus in every program’s history

The top NCAA hockey alumnus in every program’s history
Al Daniel
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NCAA hockey alumnus and Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios

Before they were NHL rivals, NHL teammates, USA teammates or fellow Hall of Fame inductees, Chris Chelios (foreground) and Brett Hull (background, left) each played two years of college hockey in the Midwest. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

While Quinnipiac — last week’s 2016 Frozen Four runner-up — has yet to produce an NHL mainstay, it has spawned fantasies of its future alumni.

As a two-time national finalist in the last four years, Rand Pecknold’s program has made it among college hockey devotees. It will make it in the game’s broader universe when a majority of a former Bobcat’s followers do not readily recall the household name’s days in Hamden, Conn.

NHL fans of a certain generation and location are not inclined to readily think of a past or present star’s status as an NCAA hockey alumnus. Time and geography create that separation, but the head-turning revelation or refresher is a promotional pearl for the college game.

If all goes according to plan, there will come a day when one will need to have seen and followed Buffalo Sabres sensation Jack Eichel last season to remember that he was a one-year wonder at Boston University. The same holds true for a host of Hall of Famers who acquired all or part of a U.S. higher education as one of their final stops to The Show.

Those are the go-to faces on a team’s murals, advertisements and — where applicable — pregame history celebrations on the video board. There is no better way to remind prospective patrons that, even if they missed future VIPs on campus in the past, the ice is always fertile for them to catch the next one.

If there is one player every current Division I men’s program must feature in those marketing methods, he is listed as follows. Stick tap to Hockey Reference and the alumni reports from the Internet Hockey Database for their bevies of information.

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College
Al Daniel
@alhockeyscribe

Along the Boards’ NCAA editor, Al is an alumnus of Shattuck-St. Mary’s and Providence College. His work has previously appeared in the Faribault Daily News, Let’s Play Hockey, Access North GA, Beyond the Dashers, the Pawtucket Times, USCHO, USA Hockey Magazine and Bleacher Report.

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