Michigan Hockey Makes History

The 2021 NHL Draft had a very maize and blue tint to it on Friday night.
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For the first time in more than 50 years, players from the same school were drafted No. 1 and No. 2 overall as Michigan defenseman Owen Power was selected with the No. 1 pick by the Buffalo Sabres, followed by fellow Wolverine Matthew Beniers being selected No. 2 by the expansion Seattle Kraken. 

The big night for U-M was far from over, as Michigan commit Luke Hughes was the No. 4 pick by the New Jersey Devils and center Kent Johnson was chosen No. 5 by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Towards the end of the first round, incoming freshman forward Mackie Samoskevich was drafted No. 24 by the Florida Panthers, which marked the first time a college program has had five players selected in the first round of the draft. Obviously Hughes and Samoskevich aren't technically Wolverines just yet, it still makes for the most impressive evening in NHL Draft history.

Despite being picked in the first five picks of the draft, the talented foursome may actually be leaning towards being at Michigan next year. Following an extremely disappointing end to the 2020 season, which saw Michigan bow out of the NCAA Tournament due to COVID, Power, Beniers and Johnson all seem to be ready to return to Ann Arbor to chase a national title. Throw in the two incoming freshmen who were also first-round picks, and Michigan will have the most talented team in the country, and it's really not up for debate.

Johnson summed up the night best and got Michigan hockey fans extremely excited in the same breath.

“I felt like I was getting picked when those guys got picked too, so it was so exciting for the four of us to go in the top five and go so early,” Johnson told ESPN2 during the draft broadcast. “It’s just awesome and I can’t wait to keep playing with those guys.”

Michigan hockey head coach Mel Pearson must feel like a kid on Christmas morning when he thinks about the amount of talent he'll be able to put on the ice next year if all five players decide to come back. If all five players do return to Michigan, they'll almost certainly be considered the favorites to win the national title. Phrases like "hockey super team" and "insane amount of talent" are being thrown around by experts in the industry indicating just how special the group could be.