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College free agents signing with NHL teams

Khodorenko to Rangers, O'Connor to Penguins, Mackey to Flames among early contracts

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NHL.com takes a look at some of the top college free agents, some of whom have signed with an NHL team or could do so soon. Players eligible to be signed must be at least 20 years old and have gone through the NHL Draft twice without being selected (in alphabetical order).

 

Jack Ahcan, St. Cloud State University; signed with Boston Bruins

The 22-year-old defenseman (5-8, 185) has excellent hands and a high hockey IQ suited to the modern game. The St. Cloud captain finished the regular season with 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) in 33 games. Ahcan signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins on March 27.

 

Mitchell Chaffee, University of Massachusetts Amherst; signed with Minnesota Wild

Chaffee (6-foot, 205) is a wing who plays a heavy game and has a good touch around the net. The junior had interest from a dozen NHL teams, according to UMass coach Greg Carvel. Chaffee had 29 points (16 goals, 13 assists) in 30 regular-season games and signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild on March 24.

 

Patrick Curry, Boston University

The 23-year-old senior forward (6-0, 185) finished the regular season with 32 points (19 goals, 13 assists) in 34 games.

 

Josh Dunne, Clarkson University

The 21-year-old sophomore forward (6-4, 210) had 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in 32 regular-season games. He attended development camps with his hometown St. Louis Blues and the Columbus Blue Jackets the past two offseasons.

 

Zach Giuttari, Brown University; signed with Hartford of the AHL

The 23-year-old senior defenseman (6-2, 190) was a workhorse as Brown captain. A good defender, he had 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 31 games and signed an ATO with Hartford, the American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Rangers, on March 16.

 

Jordan Kawaguchi, University of North Dakota

The 22-year-old forward (5-9, 185) is a natural scorer with an exceptional shot release. The junior was second in the NCAA with 45 points (15 goals, 30 assists) in 33 regular-season games, seven points behind Providence College forward Jack Dugan (Vegas Golden Knights). Kawaguchi is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the best player in NCAA men's hockey.

 

Patrick Khodorenko, Michigan State University; agreed to terms with New York Rangers

The senior center (6-0, 198) was a productive point producer throughout his college career, with 120 points (54 goals, 66 assists) in 143 regular-season games. He agreed to terms with the New York Rangers on March 16.

 

Matt Kiersted, University of North Dakota

The 22-year-old junior defenseman (6-0, 181) displays a blended game that should translate to the professional level. He has 29 points (six goals, 23 assists) in 35 games.

 

Connor Mackey, Minnesota State University; signed with Calgary Flames

The 23-year-old defenseman (6-2, 200) has been on NHL radars for the past two seasons. Several teams are expected to pursue him after he scored 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) in 36 games. He signed a one-year contract with the Calgary Flames on March 20.

 

Marc Michaelis, Minnesota State University; signed with Vancouver Canucks

The 24-year-old senior center, who represented Germany in the 2020 World Junior Championship, had 44 points (20 goals, 24 assists) in 31 games. He signed a one-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks on March 19.

 

Drew O'Connor, Dartmouth College; signed with Pittsburgh Penguins

The sophomore forward has the size (6-3, 200) and scoring touch to be an impact player. He had 33 points (21 goals, 12 assists) in 31 games. The 21-year-old signed a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 17.

 

Greg Printz, Providence College

The 21-year-old junior forward (6-2, 214) has a highly coveted shot and had 27 points (15 goals, 12 assists) in 34 games.

 

Justin Richards, University of Minnesota Duluth; agreed to terms with New York Rangers

Named the best defensive forward in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference this season, the 21-year-old (5-11, 190) had 25 points (14 goals, 11 assists) in 34 games. The son of NHL assistant coach Todd Richards agreed to an entry-level contract with the Rangers on April 2.

 

Gustaf Westlund, Ohio State University

The 21-year-old sophomore (6-0, 174) from Stockholm scored 26 points (14 goals, 12 assists) in 34 games. He attended Vegas Golden Knights development camp in June.

 

NHL.com independent correspondent Mark Divver contributed to this report

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