College Hockey Free Agents 2023: Top NHL Prospects

The 2023 college hockey free agents present an exciting pool of talent for NHL teams to explore. In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the standout prospects who could make a significant impact in professional hockey.

Matt Brown – Winger

Key Phrases: College Hockey Free Agents, Matt Brown, NHL Prospects

Matt Brown, a 24-year-old winger, is undoubtedly one of the most promising college-free agents in the NHL. Hailing from Boston University, Brown showcased his prowess by averaging an impressive 1.20 points per game during the 2022-23 season.

Brown’s journey to the NHL began at Tenafly High School, where he first made a name for himself in junior hockey. His breakthrough came in the 2018-19 season when he played for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL, leading them to a playoff appearance.

After his stint with the Buccaneers, Brown spent two seasons at Massachusetts Lowell before transferring to Boston. While he faced initial challenges, he bounced back spectacularly during the 2022-23 season, registering a remarkable 47 points in 39 games. His outstanding performance earned him recognition as a member of the All-Hockey East First Team and AHCA East Second Team All-American.

What sets Brown apart is his ability to create scoring opportunities for his team. NHL franchises, particularly teams like the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks, in need of a skilled forward, should keep a close eye on this talent.

Oskar Autio – Goaltender

Key Phrases: Oskar Autio, NHL College Free Agents, Goaltender

Oskar Autio, a talented goaltender among the NHL college free agents, has a remarkable journey in the world of hockey. He gained experience playing for the Allen Americans and Wheeling Nailers in the ECHL before making his mark in the NCAA.

Autio’s junior hockey career with the Blues Akatemia spanned five seasons, where he achieved an impressive .951 save percentage (SV%). His brief stint with the Chicago Steel during the 2017-18 season showcased his potential, with a .904 SV% and a 2.90 Goals Against Average (GAA) in 39 games.

Following that, Autio committed to the Pennsylvania State University, where he served as an alternate captain. Over his four seasons, he consistently maintained high save percentages, with a maximum of .930.

In his recent NCAA stint with the University of Vermont, Autio appeared in 12 games, boasting a .911 SV% and a GAA of 2.75. His performance didn’t go unnoticed, earning him recognition as a member of the 2018 USHL All-Rookie Team and the title of Academic All-Big Ten honoree in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. Furthermore, he received Penn State’s 2020-21 Sportsmanship Award.

Carter Long – Defenseman

Key Phrases: Carter Long, College Hockey Free Agents, Defenseman

Carter Long, a defenseman who played for the University of Vermont and the Savannah Ghost Pirates of the ECHL, may have had a challenging collegiate season, but his potential is undeniable.

Born on February 13, 1998, Long scored only one goal in 12 games with the Pirates and recorded six points in 36 NCAA games during a recent season. Despite his struggles in college, Long’s junior seasons displayed his brilliance.

Long’s hockey journey began with the Selects Hockey Academy, where he spent three seasons, achieving a high of 33 points in 26 games. In the 2016-17 season, he was selected by the Lincoln Stars of the USHL and played 51 regular-season games, securing 22 points. Notably, he was chosen as an assistant captain that season.

Finn Evans – Winger

Key Phrases: Finn Evans, NCAA Hockey Free Agents, Winger

Finn Evans, a winger in the 2023 NCAA hockey free agents pool, brings his talent and experience to the table. He played three games for the Indy Fuel and is an alumnus of Princeton University.

Evans’ hockey journey commenced with the Toronto Nationals in the 2013-14 season, and he continued to impress during his time with the Mississauga Rebels, playing 65 regular-season games in the following year.

During the 2015-16 season, the St Michael’s Buzzers selected Finn, where he accumulated 97 game appearances and an impressive 73 points in two seasons.

Evans then committed to Princeton University, where he excelled both academically and on the ice. He was named to the ECAC All-Academic Team for all four seasons and achieved a high of 10 points in 24 games during the 2021-22 season. In the 2022-23 season, playing for the University of Vermont, Evans participated in 29 games, contributing five goals and three assists.

Todd Goehring – Forward

Key Phrases: Todd Goehring, NCAA Hockey Free Agents, Forward

Standing at 5 feet 11 inches, Todd Goehring is a top prospect among the NCAA hockey-free agents. His recent appearance was with the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL.

Goehring’s journey began with the New Jersey Jr. Titans, where he achieved a high of 30 points in 20 games over three seasons. He later played a season each with the New Jersey Hitmen and North Jersey Avalanche before joining the Springfield Jr. Blues of the NAHL in the 2016-17 season.

In the 2017-18 season, Todd represented the Chicago Steel in 26 games, and subsequently, he committed to Sacred Heart University. During the 2022-23 season, he showcased his skills with 22 points, comprising 11 goals and 11 assists in 37 games, while also making six appearances with the Gladiators.

Jay O’Brien – Center

Key Phrases: Jay O’Brien, NHL Free Agents, Center

Jay O’Brien, a center player, was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers but did not sign a contract, making him a notable free agent in the NHL.

Hailing from Massachusetts, O’Brien initiated his competitive hockey journey at Dexter Southfield School in the 2014-15 season. He also represented the Cape Cod Whalers and eventually joined the National Team Development Program (NTDP) in the 2017-18 season.

Additionally, O’Brien played a game with the Youngstown Phantoms that year. He then became a collegiate athlete for Providence College, where he recorded five points.

During the 2019-20 season, O’Brien had a breakthrough as a member of the Penticton Vees, appearing in 46 games and achieving a career-high of 66 points. Subsequently, he committed to Boston University, where his final season was his most successful, with 8 goals and 24 assists in 39 games.

Jared Moe – Goaltender

Key Phrases: Jared Moe, NHL Free Agents, Goaltender

Jared Moe, a 6 feet 4 inches tall goaltender and the 2018 draft pick of the Winnipeg Jets is now a free agent. His signing rights with the Jets expired on August 15, 2023.

Moe’s goaltending journey began in the 2014-15 season, where he guarded the net for Holy Family Catholic, Team Southwest, and Minnesota Blades. His time with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL saw him achieve a remarkable .919 SV% in his first season and a 2.79 GAA in the 2018-19 season.

Afterward, Moe transitioned to college hockey, representing the University of Minnesota. His standout moment came in the 2020-21 season when he helped secure the Big Ten Tournament and recorded a GAA of 3.45. In the following year, he became an NCAA participant, maintaining an SV% of .917. Moe’s contributions earned him two-time letter-winner status with the Golden Gophers.

Ryan O’Connell – Defenseman

Key Phrases: Ryan O’Connell, NHL Free Agents, Defenseman

Ryan O’Connell, a defenseman drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2017, is now a free agent due to the team’s decision not to sign him.

O’Connell, a 24-year-old athlete from Gloucester, Ontario, began his competitive journey with the Ottawa Jr. 67s, where he recorded a high of 25 points in 29 games. In the 2015-16 season, he committed to St Andrew’s College, playing 69 games in his first year and securing a total of 39 points. His second year saw him record 37 points in 54 games.

In the 2017-18 season, O’Connell represented the Penticton Vees, and the following year, he joined the Ohio State University. While at Ohio State, the defensive player achieved a high of 10 points in 30 games. In the 2022-23 season, Ryan honed his skills with Michigan State, contributing three assists in 35 games.


In conclusion, these college hockey free agents of 2023 bring a wealth of talent and potential to the NHL, making them valuable prospects for teams looking to bolster their rosters. Stay tuned for updates on their journeys to professional hockey.

Austin Taylor

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