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The 2004-2005 National Hockey League (NHL) lockout has had a twofold effect on mens Division I college hockey programs. First, NHL entry-level contracts are now much less expensive than they were before the lockout. As a consequence, NHL teams are now more inclined to induce Division I hockey players to forego years of remaining eligibility. Second, the age of unrestricted free agency has dropped, encouraging rookies to begin their NHL career at a younger age. The authors show that there has been not only a surge in the number of Division I college players who have signed NHL contracts in the two years after 2004-2005 lockout than in the two years before the lockout, but since the lockout disproportionately more NHL bound college players have left college in their junior year.

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Paul Sommers

Justin R. Gaines

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