June 26, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame sophomore-to-be center David Inman (Toronto, Ont.)
has been selected by the New York Rangers in the second round of the
annual National Hockey League Entry Draft, as announced today at the
Fleet Center in Boston.
Inman - who was the 59th overall pick due to various "compensatory
picks" in the second round - becomes the first Notre Dame hockey player
ever selected in the first two rounds of an NHL draft, since the draft's
inception in 1968. Four previous Irish players were selected in the
third round of the NHL draft during the mid-1970s.
Selection by the Rangers holds extra significance for Inman, who
was born in New York City and owns joint citizenship in both Canada and
the United States. His mother Straughn, a native of West Virginia, and
father Ron met while students at Yale University. The Inman family lived
in Manhattan until David was three years old, before moving to Toronto.
Due to his joint citizenship, Inman was one of 26 invitees to tryouts
for the 1998-99 USA junior national team and could receive a similar
invitation for the 1999-2000 U.S. junior team tryouts.
Inman - who was joined at the draft ceremonies by his parents and
fifth-year Notre Dame head coach Dave Poulin - was the 12th college
player, the sixth college forward and the fourth player from a Central
Collegiate Hockey Association school selected in Saturday's draft. Only
two college centers-incoming Northeastern freshman Michael Ryan (32nd
pick) and Dan Cavanaugh of Boston University (38th)-were selected higher
Several other current Notre Dame players could be selected in
Saturday's nine-round draft (information will be released if that is the
Just four previous Notre Dame hockey players have been selected
with a higher pick in the NHL draft than Inman, who is the
highest-drafted Irish hockey player (in terms of overall pick) since
1976. The previous Notre Dame hockey players (all wingers) that were
selected in the third round include: Don Jackson (Minnesota, 1976, 39th
pick), Alex Pirus (Minnesota, 1975, 41st), John Campbell (N.Y. Rangers,
1973, 46th) and Clark Hamilton (Detroit, 1975, 50th). (For the sake of comparison, it should be noted that the early
selection of European-based players has become a common occurrence only
recently in the NHL draft history. The 58 players selected on Saturday
before Inman included 17 players from European leagues.)
Inman is a physically-gifted center who could be due for a
breakthrough season with the Irish in 1999-2000. His physical attributes
include a 6-1, 190-pound frame, great vision on the ice, strong skating
ability and a rifle shot. Inman centered the Irish second line for most
of the 1998-99 season, before sliding back to the third line for the
final three weeks. He is Notre Dame's third-highest returning scorer,
after totaling 10 goals and 10 assists-plus a team-high 74 penalty
minutes-as a freshman.
Inman will be part of a 1999-2000 group of Notre Dame forwards
that includes nine players who have been drafted and/or played for USA
Hockey (on a junior national team or with the developmental program).
Prior to joining the Irish, Inman led the Wexford (Ontario)
Raiders to the 1998 Metro League title and a runner-up finish to the
Milton Merchants in the Provincial League finals. He was named a 1998
Metro League all-star after leading the Raiders in overall goals (51 in
53 games, plus 69 assists), playoff goals (15, in 16 games) and playoff
College players must be 19 years old to be eligible for the entry
draft and the respective NHL clubs maintain rights to drafted players
even if they opt to continue will their college careers (as is the
expected course of action for Inman).
Four current Irish players were selected in the 1997 entry draft:
senior-to-be forwards Ben Simon (by Chicago) and Joe Dusbabek (San
Jose), junior-to-be defenseman Ryan Clark (N.Y. Islanders) and forward
Kay Kopischke (Los Angeles).
Five highly-regarded incoming Notre Dame players will be eligible for
the 2000 draft: forwards Michael Chin, Connor Dunlop and John Wroblewski
and defensemen Evan Nielsen and Paul Harris.
Since the inception of the draft in 1968, 36 Notre Dame players have
been selected by various NHL teams. Three previous Notre Dame players
have been drafted by the Rangers: Campbell in 1973 and defensemen John
Rushin (1991, 7th round) and Davide Dal Grande (1992, 6th round).
Jackson's 311 career games in the NHL included a final stint with the
In addition to Ryan and Cavanaugh, the other college players that were
selected before Inman on Saturday included: Michigan D Jeff Jillson
(14th), Wisconsin D David Tanabe (16th), Maine LW Barrett Heisten
(20th), North Dakota D Mike Commodore (42nd), Minnesota D Jordan Leopold
(44th), Rensselaer LW Matt Murely (51st), Michigan State RW Adam Hall
(52nd), MSU D Andrew Hutchinson (54th) and Maine D Doug Janik (55th).
Inman joined Jillson, Hall and Hutchinson as the four CCHA players
taken in the first two rounds, tying with Hockey East for the college
conferences with the most first or second-round draft picks (the Western
Collegiate Hockey Association had three).
Inman entered the draft ranked 19th on the NHL Central Scouting list
for North American skaters but ended up being the 33rd North American
skater selected. The 28 first-round picks included 10 players from
European leagues, 14 players from U.S. and Canadian junior/minor
leagues, three college players and one re-entry applicant. The 14
junior/minor picks in the first round included five players that hail
from Europe (meaning that more than half of the first-round picks were
QUOTES FROM DAVID INMAN
General comments about the draft process
"I had a lot of uncertainty about this whole afternoon and it was really
draining. At times, it felt kind of disappointing but I realized that
the draft is just one step to playing professional hockey some day. For
now, making the most out of my Notre Dame career is the most important
thing. I had the chance to meet some of the coaches and general
managers. It was a neat experience and a real thrill."
On being drafted by a team from his birthplace
"It's kind of interesting that I could end up where my life started,
back in New York City. I love New York City and the Rangers are one of
the original six (NHL teams), so I feel real honored that they selected
me. There were a lot of New York fans here and a they were coming up to
me and asking for my autograph. I still feel real connected to Notre
Dame but there's a different feeling now after being drafted. It's a
On his approach to the draft
"I tried to come in with an open mind and realized that things were out
of my control. It was tough to sit and wait through that - it was very
tedious and slow. But I knew that I was going to get picked sooner or
later. It would have been a great thing to have been drafted in the
first round and go up to the stage. But I'm still going to make the most
of my opportunity and I was drafted by a great organization."
Looking ahead to his sophomore season at Notre Dame
"I have high expectations of myself. Next year, being a sophomore, I
expect to play a more important role on the team. I've done a bunch of
interviews with teams during the past few weeks and the topic of
improving my consistency and intensity was discussed-and those are
things that will come with experience. Last season was a really good
stepping stone for me and I've got to put it in perspective and look to
help the Irish do even better next season. The experience and lessons
that I learned as a freshman and during this draft process should help
push me next year to be a player that my teammates can rely on."
"I can't wait until the season starts. We have a great class coming in
and all the players that are coming back should be even better. We lost
a great class to graduation, but there are a lot of other guys who will
step up. We're ready to make a run at a real successful season."