BUFFALO, N.Y. – A pair of incoming Notre Dame freshmen heard their names called early on day two of the 2016 NHL Draft as defenseman Andrew Peeke was selected 34th overall (second round) by the Columbus Blue Jackets and forward Cameron Morrison was chosen 40th overall (second round) by the Colorado Avalanche at Buffalo’s First Niagara Center.
It marked the first NHL draft in which two Irish hockey players were selected within the first 40 picks.
Peeke and Morrison also become the 78th and 79th Irish hockey players to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft. Additionally, at least one Notre Dame player has now been drafted in each draft dating back to 2004 (12 seasons).
Peeke skated in 56 games with the Green Bay Gamblers in 2015-16. He scored four goals and added 26 assists for 30 points. His 30 points ranked second in rookie scoring among defensemen, while his 26 assists ranked fifth among all rookies. He was ranked 57th among North American skaters in the final NHL Central Scouting ratings. He was selected to the USHL All-Rookie First Team and also took part in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (Omaha, Nebraska). He also attended the 2016 NHL Draft Combine (Buffalo, N.Y.).
A 6-3, 205-pound native of Parkland, Florida, Peeke skated in the 2015-16 World Junior A Challenge, where he notched a goal and an assist in five games for Team USA. Prior to joining the Gamblers, he skated with the Selects Academy (South Kent, Connecticut).
Morrison played in 60 games for the Youngstown Phantoms during the 2015-16 season. He posted 66 points on 34 goals and 32 assists to lead all USHL rookies in points and goals. His 34 goals also ranked third overall in league scoring. He earned USHL Rookie of the Week honors twice (Nov. 2 & April 11). Morrison was ranked 46th among North American skaters in the final NHL Central Scouting ratings. He was named the 2016 USHL Rookie of the Year and was selected as a USHL First Team All-Star and was also named to the USHL All-Rookie First Team. He also attended the 2016 NHL Draft Combine (Buffalo, N.Y.).
A 6-3, 200-pound native of Aurora, Ontario, Morrison competed with Team Canada at the IIHF U-18 World Championship, where he scored a goal and added three assists for four points in seven games. He also took part in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (Omaha, Nebraska). Prior to joining Youngstown, Morrison skated with the Aurora Tigers of the OJHL.
In all, Notre Dame’s 2016-17 roster will feature eight NHL draft picks:
- Anders Bjork (Boston Bruins, 5th round, 2014)
- Jake Evans (Montreal Canadiens, 7th round, 2014)
- Dennis Gilbert (Chicago Blackhawks, 3rd round, 2015)
- Connor Hurley (Buffalo Sabres, 2nd round, 2013)
- Cameron Morrison (Colorado Avalanche, 2nd round, 2016)
- Andrew Peeke (Columbus Blue Jackets, 2nd round, 2016)
- Cal Petersen (Buffalo Sabres, 5th round, 2013)
- Joe Wegwerth (Florida Panthers, 4th round, 2014)