Two incoming freshmen and one for 2010 from the University of Michigan were chosen in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday in Montreal.
Forwards Chris Brown and Kevin Lynch were second-round draft picks. Brown went 36th overall to the Phoenix Coyotes, while Lynch was picked by the Columbus Blue Jackets 56th overall.
Entering the draft, Brown was rated No. 30 among North American skaters by the Central Scouting Service. He played the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons alongside Lynch for the U.S. National Team Development Program and finished the 2008-09 campaign with 20 goals, 10 on the power play, and 18 assists in 62 games. His 120 penalty minutes were tops on the U.S. NTDP Under-18 Team. He also won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
"Chris plays a tough and physical style game," said NHL Central Scouting's Gary Eggleston. "He sets the tone of the game by taking the body hard and making a statement right from the opening faceoff. He'll drive his way through checks to get to the puck. He's a very good skater with a long, smooth stride with balance and agility. He has very good anticipation of the play and plays a solid two-way game."
Lynch was listed No. 100 in the CSS' North American rankings. In 63 games for the U.S. NTDP Under-18 Team, he had 24 goals, 24 assists and 54 penalty minutes. He had a very strong end to his season, recording five goals and five assists in seven games at the World Under-18 Championship. Lynch has been invited to USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp, which is slated for August.
Defenseman Mac Bennett, a 2010 recruit, went in the third round (79th overall) to the hometown Canadiens.
Michigan's 2009-10 roster is slated to include 12 players who have been drafted by NHL franchises.
The only other Michigan-based collegian drafted was Western Michigan defenseman Kevin Connauton, who was taken in the third round with the 83rd overall selection by the Vancouver Canucks. Connauton will be a sophomore in the fall.
Brown is the fifth Wolverine to be drafted by the Coyotes (Josh Blackburn, 1998; Kevin Porter, 2004; Chad Kolarik, 2004; Chris Summers, 2006). Two U-M alumni made their NHL debuts with the Coyotes in 2008-09 -- Porter (U-M 2005-09) and goalie Al Montoya (2002-05).
Lynch is the first Wolverine to be chosen by the Blue Jackets organization. U-M alumnus Blake Sloan (1993-97) spent two seasons playing for Columbus in 2000-01 and 2001-02.