The EP Rinkside 2024 NCAA Free Agency Guide

The draft has traditionally functioned as most players' entry point to the NHL, but it's not the only way to get there. For late-bloomers and the overlooked, free agency represents a second chance for players to earn their shot at a professional career, most often through college hockey.

This season, 71 such players have featured in at least one game of NHL action. There's a good chance that number will clear 80 when it's all said and done.

Most operate as bit players or organizational depth. A select few take on front-line roles, even as starting goaltenders. Much like the draft, you can expect a wide range of outcomes, but the numbers game remains the same: Most don't amount to much of anything at all.

The ceiling on these players is lower than most. The NHL Draft has become such an efficie

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NCAA NCAA Dylan Anhorn Dalton Bancroft Matthew Barbolini Jacob Bengtsson Ryan Bischel Zach Bookman Lynden Breen Boston Buckberger Brandon Chabrier Karsen Dorwart Christian Fitzgerald Riese Gaber Matteo Giampa Collin Graf Luke Grainger Lukas Gustafsson Aiden Hansen-Bukata Luke Haymes Justin Hryckowian Colton Huard T.J. Hughes Carter King Luke Krys Joey Larson Tim Lovell Kyle McClellan Liam McLinskey Cole Moore Evan Murr Josh Nadeau Jaxon Nelson Blake Pietila Nick Poisson John Prokop Ondrej Psenicka Jacob Quillan Lleyton Roed Gabriel Seger Lukas Sillinger Zach Stejskal Sam Stevens Austen Swankler Dylan Wendt Carter Wilkie Jack Williams Victor Östman
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