June 20, 2008
2008 NHL Draft: First-Round Fantastic Four

2008 NHL Draft Coverage
INCH Draft Central
Friday's First Round: Picks | Notebook
Saturday's Rounds 2-7: Picks | Notebook

Unlike last year, when 11 players with college ties were chosen in the first round of the NHL Draft, the 2008 was relatively slow for college hockey fans.

Below is a rundown of the four collegiate prospects who were among the first 30 picks in this year's draft. For the complete list of picks, including major junior and European players, visit ESPN.com.

First Round


NHL Team

Player, Pos., 2007-08 Team (College)


Nashville Predators

Colin Wilson, F, Boston University

Boston University coach Jack Parker says: "Colin is a really smart player who sees the ice really well. He can really move the puck because he has what I refer to as 'Larry Bird court-sense'. He knows where everybody is and can see plays develop in front of him. He knows where to go when he has the puck and when he doesn't have the puck. An asset that never seems to surprise me is that he always collects the pass near him, so that the puck stays with him."


Boston Bruins

Joe Colborne, F, Camrose Kodiaks
(Denver recruit)

Camrose Kodiaks' head coach and general manager Boris Rybalka says: "I think the RBC [Canadian Junior A Championship] was Joe's coming-out party. Joe started to dominate by using his size, stick and reach. He skates well, he has soft hands. He's got the full package."


Anaheim Ducks

Jake Gardiner, D, Minnetonka (Minn.) H.S. (Wisconsin recruit)

NHL Central Scouting says: "He might be one of the best skaters in the draft. He used to be a forward and they made him a defensemen a few years ago and he loves being a defenseman. He is smart with the puck, unselfish and he's careful. He is dynamic when he grabs the puck and goes. He has a very quick dangerous wrist shot — he gets it away like Joe Sakic does. The dimension of his quickness fools goalies. He's an easy player to like."


Atlanta Thrashers

Daultan Leveille, F, St. Catharines Falcons
(Michigan State recruit)

NHL Central Scouting says: "There has been a lot of interest in [Daultan] this year and he has performed well in front of NHL scouts. He is a small, skilled quarterback on the power-play type player [and] a great, fast form skater. Because he was depended on by his team to be such an offensive contributor, it stands to reason that his defensive side of the game needs to improve. Yet, he effectively killed penalties and his skating and skills would lead me to believe that as he makes the next step towards Michigan State, he'll continue to improve that part of his game with good coaching and experience."