7:14 pm: Denver University forward, and Edmonton Oilers draft choice, Carter Savoie, came up big, scoring the overtime winner for Denver to defeat Michigan and send Denver to the men’s college hockey championship on Saturday, with Minnesota State and the University of Minnesota playing tonight for the other spot in the final. With the conclusion of Michigan’s season, attention will now turn to Michigan’s core of future NHL talent to see if and when they sign their first professional contracts.
6:55 pm: According to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, seven or eight Michigan University players are expected to turn pro after their NCAA season comes to an end (link). Most notable among them are Sabres’ number one overall draft choice in 2021, Owen Power; the second overall selection in 2021 and the first draft pick in Seattle Kraken history, Matty Beniers; and the fifth overall choice in 2021 by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Kent Johnson. Another premier name on the highly-talented Michigan team, Luke Hughes, who was selected fourth overall in 2021 by the New Jersey Devils, is not expected to turn pro and will return to Michigan next year. The NCAA men’s hockey championship game is scheduled for Saturday night at 8:00 pm ET.
- Another player expected to turn pro is forward Ben Meyers, says Kaplan. The 23-year-old Meyers, who went undrafted, has been a standout for Minnesota, scoring 39 goals to go with 56 assists in 101 games with Minnesota over three seasons. Prior to Minnesota, Meyers spent parts of three seasons with the Fargo Force of the USHL.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins are dealing with an array of non-COVID illnesses and will miss several pieces tonight, including captain Sidney Crosby, in their game against the New York Rangers. The Penguins announced they will be missing Crosby, John Marino, and Radim Zohorna for the game. The team has not confirmed if any of the players are expected to be out beyond tonight’s game. The Penguins next play Saturday afternoon at home against the Washington Capitals.
- Michael McCarron will be out of the lineup for at least a couple of weeks, as the Nashville Predators announced the forward is week-to-week with an upper-body injury. The 27-year-old has split time between the NHL and AHL this season for Nashville, providing seven goals and seven assists in 46 games at the NHL level, using his 6’6″ frame to provide a physical presence for Nashville. There is no firm time-table yet for McCarron’s return, but the Predators will hope to get him back in time for the playoffs, if the Predators qualify, where his play style will be quite helpful in winning tough playoff-style games.