EDINA, Minn. – June 25, 2016 – Two defensemen with connections to the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) were selected in the 2016 NHL Draft, as Ferris State commit Cameron Clarke was a fifth-round pick of the Boston Bruins (#136 overall) and Bowling Green sophomore-to-be Adam Smith was grabbed by the Nashville Predators in the seventh round (#198 overall). Their selections add to the list of more than 1,000 WCHA-affiliated players chosen in the NHL Draft since 1963.
"Congratulations to Cameron and Adam on their selection in the 2016 NHL Draft, a tremendous accomplishment and a reflection of their talent and dedication," said WCHA Commissioner Bill Robertson. "The WCHA – and all of college hockey – continues to recruit and, most importantly, develop high-caliber players that make an impact at the highest levels of the sport. We look forward to watching Cameron and Adam as they continue to grow and excel on WCHA ice this season."
The 2016 NHL Draft was held June 24-25 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y.
Cameron Clarke, Commit, D, Ferris State (Tecumseh, MI) / Boston Bruins (5th round / 136th overall)
Clarke, who will join the defending Broadmoor Trophy champion Bulldogs this fall, is coming off a campaign in which he scored nine goals and had 41 assists for 50 points in 59 regular season games with the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). The blue-liner was a major contributor to his team's power play, with 24 points coming on the man advantage. Clarke also had a +3 rating with four game-winning goals and 170 shots on net.
"We're very excited for Cameron and his family," said Ferris State Head Coach Bob Daniels. "We know it's a big thing for him to be drafted, especially by an Original Six team like the Boston Bruins, who have a long and storied history.
"Cameron has very good upside and that's what Boston is looking for. We look forward to working with him this fall and being part of his future development at Ferris State."
Clarke is the first FSU draft selection since Kyle Schempp was picked by the New York Islanders in the sixth round of the 2014 NHL Draft.
Adam Smith, So., D, Bowling Green (Sharon, Ontario) / Nashville Predators (7th round, 198th overall)
After a pair of defensemen defections just prior to the start of the 2015-16 season, Smith enrolled at Bowling Green in time for the spring semester and joined the program at the midpoint of the season. After signing his National Letter of Intent in November 2015, he played in 22 of BGSU's final 23 games, posting a goal, two assists, 18 blocked shots and a +4 rating. Smith was also a key member of a Falcons' penalty-kill unit that led the WCHA and ranked fifth nationally with a .886 success rate (78-for-88) after he debuted on Dec. 30.
"Adam is a great kid who is just starting to realize how good he can be," said Bowling Green Head Coach Chris Bergeron. "He is willing to work hard and be a student of the game. Nashville got themselves a good one. The BG Hockey family is very happy for Adam."
A product of the Newmarket Hurricanes of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), Smith is expected to join junior defenseman Mark Friedman (third-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2014) and freshman goaltender Ryan Bednard (seventh-round selection of the Florida Panthers in 2015) as NHL Draft picks on the Bowling Green roster. It is the first time the Falcons have been represented in three consecutive NHL Drafts since a run of four-straight years from 2004-07.
"This is a dream come true," said Smith. "I'm extremely excited and I can't wait to get to Nashville for development camp, but I'm also really excited for the upcoming season in Bowling Green. I can't thank my coaches in both Newmarket and Bowling Green enough for everything they've done to help me get drafted."