PLYMOUTH, Mich. - USA Hockey's National Team Development Program had 14 skaters selected directly from the NTDP in the 2021 NHL Draft. In addition, four others with ties to the NTDP were chosen over the weekend.
The NTDP had four players go in the first round on Friday evening. Matthew Beniers (Hingham, Mass / NTDP 2018-20) was picked with the Seattle Kraken's first ever draft choice and Luke Hughes (Canton, Mich.) followed shortly after at number four to the New Jersey Devils. The two players made it four consecutive drafts that the NTDP hosted a top-5 selection.
Tyler Boucher (Haddonfield, N.J.) was taken by the Ottawa Senators with the 10th overall selection and Chaz Lucius (Grant, Minn.) rounded out the four picks going at number 18 to the Winnipeg Jets.
Defenseman Sean Behrens (Barrington, Ill.) kicked off the NTDP's Saturday selections when he went in the second round, 61st overall, to the Colorado Avalanche. The University of Denver commit recorded 35 points (7-28-35) in 46 games for the U.S. National Under-18 Team during the 2020-21 season.
Three NTDPers went in the third round beginning with forward Sasha Pastujov (Bradenton, Fla.), taken by the Anaheim Ducks at 66 overall. Pastujov led the U18s in scoring this season, racking up 65 points (30-35-65) in just 41 games played and was named one of Team USA's three best players at the 2021 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship earlier this year in Texas.
Defenseman Aidan Hreschuk (Long Beach, Calif.) was off the board next with the 94th selection to the Carolina Hurricanes. Hreschuk led all Under-18 defenseman in scoring this season with 37 points (6-31-37).
Roman Schmidt (Midland, Mich.) made it two NTDP blueliners in three picks when he was chosen by the Tampa Bay Lightning at 96 overall.
Photo by Rena Laverty
The Detroit Red Wings took forward Red Savage (Scottsdale, Ariz.) with the 114th overall selection in the fourth round. Savage was the captain of the Under-18 Men's National Team in Texas and picked up 42 points (18-24-42) for the U18s in 2020-21.
Dylan Duke (Strongsville, Ohio) followed next when he became the second NTDPer taken by the Tampa Bay Lightning, going with the 126th overall pick in the fourth round. Duke recorded 29 goals in both 2019-20 and 2020-21, good for the most career markers in his NTDP class.
Defenseman Ty Murchison (Corona, Calif.), headed to Arizona State University in the fall, was the lone NTDP selection of the fifth round when he was chosen by the Philadelphia Flyers with the 158th pick.
Liam Gilmartin (Falls Church, Va.) went off the board next as the only selection in the sixth round, when the forward was taken by the San Jose Sharks.
The seventh round saw lots of action as six players with ties to the NTDP were picked.
Forward Justin Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.) became the second NTDP player selected to the expansion Seattle Kraken this weekend with the 195th pick.
NTDP alum defenseman Connor Kelley (Maple Grove, Minn. / NTDP 2018-20), who skated for the University of Minnesota-Duluth this past season, went at 204 overall to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Owen McLaughlin (Spring City, Pa.), who skated in seven games with the Under-18 Team in 2020-21, was picked by the Flyers with the 206th pick of the draft.
Forward Andre Gasseau (Garden Grove, Calif.), who became a full-time member of the NTDP prior to the 2020-21 season, went to the Boston Bruins at 213.
NTDP alum blueliner Daniel Laatsch (Altoona, Wis. / NTDP 2018-20) was picked by the Pittsburgh Penguins with the draft's 215th selection. Laatsch laced up the skates for the USHL's Sioux City Musketeers in 2020-21 and will head to the University of Wisconsin in the fall.
Defenseman Ty Gallagher (Clarkston, Mich.) was the final NTDP selection of the 2021 NHL Draft when he went off the board to the Bruins at pick 217. Gallagher collected 25 goals over his NTDP career to give him the most ever by a defenseman.
The NTDP's coverage of the 2021 NHL Draft is presented by Guaranteed Rate.
ABOUT THE NTDP: USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program is entering its 25th season of competition and is based at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. The goal of the full-time development program is to prepare student-athletes under the age of 18 for participation on U.S. National Teams and success in their future hockey careers. Its efforts focus not only on high-caliber participation on the ice, but creating well-rounded individuals off the ice.