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Men’s hockey boasts top marks

NCAA-shadowThe BCHL currently has 262 graduates playing NCAA Division I hockey and data published this week shows almost every one of them will graduate with a college degree.

Men’s hockey posted a 91.6 per cent NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR), according to numbers revealed Tuesday by the NCAA. Only skiing, gymnastics, water polo and tennis had better single-year GSR performances among men’s sports.

“Men’s hockey student-athletes continue to demonstrate that it’s possible to achieve your athletic and academic dreams at the same time,” said College Hockey Inc. executive director Mike Snee. “The success of our sport in this NCAA data is a testament to these young men, their coaches, and the extraordinary institutions that they represent.”

There are currently 92 players in the BCHL with NCAA Div. I commitments. Last season, 123 Div. I commitments were recorded.

BCHL alums who go on to the NCAA are also finding success after college in professional hockey. After the 2015-16 NCAA season, nine BCHL graduates signed NHL contracts and so far in the 2016-17 season, 32 former BCHL players have suited up in the NHL. Just over 30 per cent of NHL players played NCAA hockey.

“We’re proud of all players that graduate from our league and we’re confident the skills they acquire prepare them for success in hockey and in life,” said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale. “The report from the NCAA is especially satisfying as so many of our graduates move on to college hockey there.”

Graduation data from the NCAA is taken from consecutive four-year periods. In the four-year period measured from 2006 to 2009, there were 10 schools that recorded a perfect 100 per cent GSR: Bowling Green, Canisius, Colgate, Denver, Ferris State, Harvard, New Hampshire, Princeton, Providence and Quinnipiac. There were 17 more schools that had rates of 88 per cent or better.

The data put out this week measures student-athletes who enrolled in 2009. It shows a three-point increase from last year and is significantly higher than the overall NCAA men’s sport average (81 per cent). Men’s hockey’s average GSR from the past three years (90.7 per cent) trails only gymnastics (91.4 per cent) among men’s sports.