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Carolina Hurricanes Select Danny Biega in Third Round of NHL Draft

Biega is one of five NHL draftees on the Crimson roster (photo courtesy Patrick Shanahan).

LOS ANGELES—Harvard sophomore defenseman Danny Biega was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the third round of the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft Saturday at Staples Center.

Biega was the seventh pick of the third round and the draft’s 67th overall selection. He was the second returning college player selected in the draft and the first of four ECAC Hockey players chosen. A Montreal native, Biega was the first Quebec native selected in the draft. It is the second straight year a Harvard player has held that distinction, as Louis Leblanc was chosen 18th overall last season.

“He’s an all-around guy who we think can eventually contribute to the power play,” Tony MacDonald, the Hurricanes’ director of amateur scouting, said of Biega. “He’s a pretty smart player and is very strong physically. He’s well built and very solid, and he can handle the big guys physically even though he’s 5-11.”

Biega skated in 32 of Harvard’s 33 games as a rookie last season, registering five goals and nine points. He logged four points on two goals and two assists in four playoff games, tying for the ECAC Hockey playoff point- and goal-scoring leads among freshmen and among defensemen. He posted a +4 rating in the Crimson’s two-game road sweep of Princeton in opening round of the ECAC tournament.

Biega was the 80th NHL Draft pick in program history. He was the first Harvard player ever selected by the Hurricanes. The organization selected five Crimson players as the Hartford Whalers before moving south in 1997. Three Harvard players have gone on to play for Carolina: Craig Adams ’99, Craig MacDonald ’99 and Tripp Tracy ’96. Tracy is now a television analyst for the Hurricanes, while Jason Karmanos ’96 is the team’s executive director of hockey operations. Five former Harvard players skated for the Whalers.

Biega was the second player in his family to be drafted, joining older brother Alex Biega ’10, who was a fifth-round selection of the Buffalo Sabres in 2006 and recently signed with the Sabres. Danny, Alex and brother Michael all skated for the Crimson in 2009-10. Danny and Michael, a senior, remain on the team following Alex’s graduation.

The 2010-11 Harvard roster will include five drafted players: Biega, senior Matt McCollem, junior Alex Killorn and sophomores Leblanc and Alex Fallstrom. McCollem was chosen in the sixth round of the 2006 draft by the St. Louis Blues. Killorn was a third-round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2007. Last season, Leblanc was selected in the first round by the Montreal Canadiens and Fallstrom was picked in the fourth round by the Minnesota Wild. Fallstrom’s rights were later traded to the Boston Bruins.

Crimson players have been selected in 14 of the last 15 and 27 of the last 29 NHL Drafts.