Two collegiate players signed contracts with their NHL teams: Nick Leddy and Louie Leblanc. Both of these players were drafted during the 2009 NHL Entry Draft in the first round and opted to end their college careers after one year — partly due to the needs of their organizations.
With only five defensemen (if you call John Scott a defenseman) the Blackhawks desperately needed Leddy. Due to their cap restraints, they signed him to a unique deal where his bonus will not reflect itself on this year’s cap hit if he does make the team. With only one year with the Minnesota Golden Gophers, he may be too raw to make an immediate impact.
Leblanc, on the other hand, can be nurtured a bit longer. Since the Canadiens restocked their forward cupboard, the team can develop quite the nice set of forwards while veterans like Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez, Andrei Kostitsyn and Michael Cammalleri fill the top six. LeBlanc posted 23 points in 31 with Harvard University.
With the salary cap restricting almost every team from carrying a heavily veteran team, will the NCAA continue to lose top draft picks after a season?