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College Hockey Alumni Rise in Prominence in the N.H.L.

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“I feel like every stop along the way has prepared me for this,” Quinn said during training camp.

Buffalo’s Jack Eichel, Boston’s Charlie McAvoy, Arizona’s Clayton Keller and Minnesota’s Jordan Greenway played for Quinn. Over the summer, the Terriers’ Brady Tkachuk was the No. 4 pick in the draft and had 6 points in four games with the Ottawa Senators before being sidelined by a leg injury.

“We have a ton of guys here who went to college,” said Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei, 24, who played three seasons at Minnesota. “He’s very good talking to young players and he’s a very good motivator.”

With six regular players 23 or younger, Quinn, 2-4-1 so far with the Rangers, has been demanding, taking away ice time when his standards aren’t met.

“There’s more to this game than talent and skill,” he said.

The N.H.L. and college games are now similar in many ways. The N.H.L. eliminated the center red line in 2005, matching college rules. The more recent emphasis on offense, with a corresponding de-emphasis on fighting, created more demand for the fast, skilled players college hockey has become increasingly adept at producing.

After hiring Montgomery, 49, who won national titles as a player and a coach, Stars General Manager Jim Nill acknowledged that coaches like Quinn and Montgomery are increasingly attractive to N.H.L. teams.

“There was always going to be a changing of the guard,” he told reporters. “Players are younger. Jim has worked with younger players, he’s had success, and he plays an upbeat, high-paced style.”


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