July 1, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. -- Four future members and one current rostered player from the University of Michigan ice hockey team might not have been on the ice Sunday (June 30), but it will be one day in each of their careers they will never forget. J.T. Compher (Northbrook, Ill.), Michael Downing (Canton, Mich.), Andrew Copp (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Tyler Motte (St. Clair, Mich.) and Nolan De Jong (Victoria, B.C., Canada) all heard their names called in the Prudential Center during the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, N.J. It is the fourth time since 2000 that U-M had at least five players selected in the NHL Draft.
Compher, considered one of the best two-way players available in the draft, was Michigan's first player selected when the Buffalo Sabres selected the 5-11, 177-pound center in the second round as the 35th overall pick in the draft. He was the captain of the Gold Medal United States National Team Development Program (NTDP) international team this past year, and he led the NTDP-U18 team in point-per-game average even though an injury sidelined him for some of the season.
The Florida Panthers selected Downing in the fourth round. The 6-3, 185-pound defenseman is big, hard-hitting and very strong moving the puck up ice. He played with the Dubuque Fighting Saints for the last two years, leading them to the USHL championship in 2013.
Copp, a 6-1, 213-pound forward, showed what he could do as a freshman in college hockey this past season with U-M. He contributed 17 of his 21 point total in the second half of the 2012 season and will be the Wolverines alternate captain for the upcoming year. The Winnipeg Jets, the same team that signed U-M freshman All-American Jacob Trouba, took Copp with their fourth-round pick.
Motte also went in the fourth round to the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound forward played the last two seasons with the NTDP in Ann Arbor. He was a plus-14 this past season with 11 goals and six assists in 26 games.
The Minnesota Wild made De Jong U-M's final pick in the seventh round. The Victoria Grizzlies' 6-1, 165-pound defenseman completed his season with five goals and 19 assists in 51 regular-season games. He also played Team Canada West at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge back in November, 2012.
2013 NHL Entry Draft
Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.
J.T. Compher, Buffalo Sabres -- Rd. 2 (35)
Michael Downing, Florida Panthers -- Rd. 4 (97)
Andrew Copp, Winnipeg Jets -- Rd. 4 (104)
Tyler Motte, Chicago Blackhawks -- Rd. 4 (121)
Nolan De Jong, Minnesota Wild -- Rd. 7 (197)