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Four Americans Selected in First Round of 2024 NHL Draft

By USA Hockey, 06/28/24, 10:00PM MDT


Buium, Connelly, Eiserman, Emery Selected in Opening Round

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  – Four Americans, including three players from California, were selected in the first round of the 2024 NHL Draft tonight at The Sphere in Las Vegas. 

The Minnesota Wild took University of Denver defenseman Zeev Buium (San Diego, Calif.) with the 12th overall pick. Buium, who played for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program from 2021-23, tallied 50 points (11g, 39a) in 42 games in his first season at Denver to help guide the Pioneers to an NCAA national championship. He earned ACHA West All-America First-Team honors and was named NCHC Offensive Defenseman of the Year and Rookie of the Year. 

Buium was also a member of the 2024 U.S. National Junior Team that won gold at the IIHF World Junior Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden, tallying five points (3g, 2a) in seven games. 

Trevor Connelly (Tustin, Calif.) was selected 19th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights. The Tri-City Storm forward recorded 78 points (31g, 47a) in 52 games, ranking second overall in the USHL. Connelly also represented Team USA internationally several times in 2023-24, earning a silver medal at the 2024 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, and helping the U.S. to third-place finishes at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and 2023 World Junior A Challenge. 

The New York Islanders selected Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) with the 20th overall pick. The NTDP forward scored 58 goals and added 31 assists in 2023-24, setting a new NTDP record for career goals with 127. His 193 career points rank second all-time in NTDP history. The Boston University commit helped the U.S. earn a silver medal at the 2024 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, tallying nine goals and two assists in seven games. 

NTDP defenseman EJ Emery (Compton, Calif.) was picked 30th overall by the New York Rangers. The University of North Dakota commit notched 16 assists in 61 games. Emery was a member of the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team that earned a silver medal at the 2024 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, where he tallied six assists in seven games.

The NHL Draft continues tomorrow (June 29) at 11:30 a.m. ET with rounds 2-7, and coverage will air live in the U.S. on NHL Network and ESPN+.

NOTES:  Three of the four American players drafted tonight have spent time with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program … The USHL, the only Tier I junior hockey league in the United States, had ten first-round draft picks, the most of any league, and tied for the most first round selections in a single draft in USHL history … Three current NCAA players and six players committed to play college hockey were selected in round one. 

First Round Picks

Zeev Buium 1 (12) Minnesota Wild San Diego, Calif. University of Denver (NCHC)
Trevor Connelly 1 (19) Vegas Golden Knights Tustin, Calif. Tri-City Storm (USHL)
Cole Eiserman 1 (20) New York Islanders Newburyport, Mass. USA Hockey's NTDP
EJ Emery 1 (30) New York Rangers Compton, Calif. USA Hockey's NTDP

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