June 28, 2014
PHILADELPHIA (GopherSports.com) – Ryan Collins, Jack Glover, Steve Johnson and Jack Ramsey of the Gopher Hockey program were selected in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia as the school now boasts a total of 193 all-time NHL draft picks.
Collins was the first member of the Gophers off the board on Saturday after the Columbus Blue Jackets picked the incoming defenseman with the 47th overall pick in the second round followed by Glover going to the Winnipeg Jets with the 69th overall pick in the third round. Johnson went to the Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round with the 120th overall selection while Ramsey was picked with the 208th overall pick in the seventh round by the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Gophers have now featured draft selections in 40 of the last 41 NHL Entry Drafts.
A native of Bloomington, Minn., Collins is a product of the U.S. National Development Team Program (USNTDP) in Ann Arbor and helped Benilde-St. Margaret’s capture the 2012 Minnesota Class AA title. The Minnesota newcomer is the fourth Gopher selected by the Blue Jackets and the first since Mike Reilly (98th overall, fourth round) and Seth Ambroz (128th overall, fifth round) in 2011. Columbus is coached by former Gophers All-American Todd Richards. Collins was ranked 57th among North American skaters in the 2014 NHL Central Scouting final rankings.
“Ryan is a player with a tremendous amount of potential," Gophers head coach Don Lucia said. "At 6-5, you’re looking at someone who in three or four years could be playing at 225 pounds. He should develop into a top-notch defensive defenseman.”
Also a product of the USNTDP and a member of Benilde-St. Margaret’s state championship team, Glover hails from Golden Valley, Minn. The defenseman is just the third Gopher to be drafted by the Jets organization and the first since the team relocated to Winnipeg. Glover joins Gophers alums Alex Kangas (135th overall, fifth round, 2006) and Ryan Potulny (87th overall, third round, 2003) as Jets’ draft picks – both were selected as Atlanta Thrashers’ prospects. The incoming freshman was ranked 38th among North American skaters in the 2014 NHL Central Scouting final rankings.
“Jack is a good two-way defenseman with good size, he skates well and he makes a good outlet pass," Lucia said. "As his body matures he’ll develop physically and that’s where college hockey will be a real benefit to him.”
Collins and Glover were both members of the U.S. squad that won gold last April at the 2014 IIHF Men’s Under-18 World Championships in Finland.
A native of Excelsior, Minn., Johnson spent last season with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL after skating with the NAHL’s Aberdeen Wings in 2012-13. The defenseman is the seventh Gopher to be drafted by the Los Angeles Kings and the first since Hudson Fasching was selected 118th overall (fourth round) last year – Fasching’s rights were later traded to Buffalo during the 2013-14 season. Johnson previously skated at Minnetonka High School with fellow draftee and Gophers’ signee Jack Ramsey and Minnesota sophomore forward Vinni Lettieri.
“Steve is a great example of a young man who used junior hockey to allow his game to grow, first with a year in the NAHL and then with Omaha in the USHL," Lucia said. "He has good size at 6-1, 185 pounds and he skates extremely well. He has that ability to jump up into the play.”
The son of Gophers alum, NHL veteran and Olympic gold medalist Mike Ramsey, Jack Ramsey is the seventh Gopher to be drafted by Chicago in team history and the first since Justin Holl was picked 54th overall (second round) in 2010. The forward skated for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL during the 2013-14 season and previously played at Minnetonka High School alongside Johnson and Lettieri. Ramsey signed his National Letter of Intent to join the Gophers last season and is not expected to join the program for the upcoming season. The forward was ranked 181st among North American skaters in the 2014 NHL Central Scouting final rankings. Ramsey joins his father as an NHL draft pick with Mike Ramsey standing as the Gophers’ first-ever NHL first round selection, going 11th overall to Buffalo in 1979. The Chanhassen, Minn., native’s sister, Rachel, is also a senior for the Minnesota women’s hockey program.
The 2014-15 season of Gopher Hockey marks the 93rd campaign in program history. Minnesota has won three-straight regular-season conference titles – a first for the Maroon & Gold – and has made two trips to the Frozen Four in the last three years.
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