ESPN Ranks UND Hockey on List of Ultimate Lineups in NCAA History
The University of North Dakota men's hockey team has a decorated history of stars that have gone on to be successful in the NHL and ESPN has certainly taken notice.
If you could have the best all-time men's hockey lineups from all NCAA schools, where do you think UND would rank?...Most likely, at the very least, near the top of the list. ESPN has UND ranked with the 2nd best all-time lineup in NCAA history.
In case that's confusing, it means that players from any era could be listed at each position on the ice. The following was the lineup ESPN picked:
- Left Wing - Zach Parise (2002-04; 326-350-676 in 863 NHL games)
- Center - Jonathan Toews (2005-07; 292-381-673 in 790 NHL games)
- Right Wing - T.J. Oshie (2005-08; 184-272-456 in 657 NHL games)
- Defenseman - James Patrick (1981-83; 149-490-639 in 1,280 NHL games)
- Defenseman - Craig Ludwig (1979-82; 38-184-222 in 1,256 NHL games)
- Goalie - Ed Belfour (1986-87; 484 wins in 963 NHL games, .906 save percentage)
The above statistics shown are (UND tenure; goals-assists-points)
Of course, still in the NHL with well-established careers thus far, are Zach Parise (Minnesota Wild), Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks), and T.J. Oshie (Washington Capitals). James Patrick, Craig Ludwig, and Ed Belfour have long since retired.
For each team making the list of the 10 schools having the top all-time teams, there was also a top all-time player picked. That top all-time player is Tony Hrkac, who played for UND during the 1984-85 and 1986-87 seasons. Hrkac's play had UND's '86-87 team dubbed as the 'Hrkac Circus.' He helped lead UND to a national championship in 1987 as he compiled a staggering 116 points in just 48 games for an NCAA record. Hrkac would go on to play in a total of 758 games in the NHL for a combination of nine different teams in his career.
Wisconsin's all-time lineup was the only school to top North Dakota's on the list.