DALLAS – Six Americans were selected in the opening round of the 2018 NHL Draft here tonight at the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Stars.
Forward Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) was the first U.S. player off the board when the Ottawa Senators drafted him 4th overall. The Vancouver Canucks selected defenseman Quinn Hughes (Orlando, Fla.) with the 7th pick in the draft before forward Oliver Wahlstrom (Quincy, Mass.) was chosen 11th overall by the New York Islanders. The Philadelphia Flyers picked a pair of American forwards, Joel Farabee (Cicero, N.Y.) at 14th overall and Jay O’Brien (Hingham, Mass.) at 19th overall. Defenseman K’Andre Miller (Minnetonka, Minn.) was the sixth American taken when the New York Rangers made him the 22nd overall pick.
Five of those selections have represented the United States in International Ice Hockey Federation world championship play, combining for four gold medals and 10 medals overall. Tkachuk, Hughes, Wahlstrom and Farabee were all members of the gold medal-winning 2017 U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship. Hughes and Tkachuk also played for the bronze medal-winning 2018 U.S. National Junior Team at the IIHF World Junior Championship last January, while Hughes most recently earned a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2018 IIHF Men’s World Championship. Wahlstrom, Farabee and Miller also helped guide the 2018 U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team to the silver medal this past April.
All six players have ties to USA Hockey's National Team Development Program that skates in the United States Hockey League and against international, NCAA Division I and III opponents. Tkachuk (2015-17), Hughes (2015-17), Wahlstrom (2016-18), Farabee (2016-18) and Miller (2016-18) were full-time members of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program while O’Brien played multiple games for the NTDP in 2017-18. Additionally, all six players played in last September’s All-American Prospects Game in Buffalo. Tkachuk took home Player of the Game honors in that contest after netting the game-winning goal for Team Leetch.
Tkachuk (Boston University) and Hughes (University of Michigan) each played college hockey this past season, while Wahlstrom (Boston College), Farabee (Boston University), O’Brien (Providence College) and Miller (University of Wisconsin) are each committed to play college hockey beginning in 2018-19.
The six American first round picks will all be vying for a spot on the 2019 U.S. National Junior Team as invitees to the 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase in Kamloops, British Columbia. The U.S., which has medaled three-straight years (gold: 2017, bronze: 2016, 2018) for the first time in tournament history, will play in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship from Dec. 26, 2017 - Jan. 5, 2018, in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.
Rounds 2-7 of the NHL Draft take place tomorrow (June 23), beginning at 10 a.m. CT. The draft will be televised live in the U.S. on NHL Network.
For USA Hockey’s continuing coverage of the 2018 NHL Draft, visit USAHockey.com/2018NHLDraft.
NOTES: With Brady Tkachuk being selected 4th overall and Quinn Hughes being taken 7th overall, it marks the third time in four years that an American was selected within the top 5 picks and two or more Americans were selected within the first 10 picks ... Brady Tkachuk joins his brother, Matthew Tkachuk, and father, Keith Tkachuk, as first round selections. Matthew was taken sixth overall by the Calgary Flames in 2016 while Keith was chosen 19th by the Winnipeg Jets.