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.


Paul Sommers

Justin R. Gaines

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