Michigan State hockey's 2024 NHL Draft recap

Michigan State v Notre Dame
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Two future Spartan prospects selected

The last two Spartans drafted are actually not yet technically Spartans, but commits. That’s right, a pair of players from USA Hockey’s National Team Developmental Program in Plymouth were selected in the draft. They both are committed to pay for the Spartans next fall.

These two young Spartans will most likely still end up in East Lansing for at least one season. Being drafted now just means the teams that selected them hold their professional rights. Being drafted this young is common and most professional teams will still want you to play amateur hockey for a year or two before making the leap to the professional game. 

The two Spartan commits selected were Lucas Van Vilet and Austin Baker. Van Vilet was selected in the seventh round of the draft at pick No. 197 overall by the Vegas Golden Knights. Baker was selected 203rd overall in the seventh round by the Detroit Red Wings. 

Van Vilet is 18 years old hailing from Livonia, Mich. He was ranked as the 75th-best prospect for North American skaters by NHL’s Central Scouting this draft. The dynamic forward stands 6-foot-2 and weighs about 180 pounds. He is a big time pickup for Adam Nightingale and the Spartans. He has a great shot and release. He has a talent for being able to manipulate defends with his shot and his ability to skate with contact. The Knights loved the upside of Van Vilet's scoring ability and it should be something that hopefully translates well to Big Ten play next season.

Baker is an 18-year-old Spartan commit who is from White Lake, Mich. Coming into the draft this year, he was ranked as the 104th best North American prospect by NHL’s Central Scouting. In 25 games last season for team USA Juniors with the NTDP, he had 10 goals and 14 total points. He is a speedy forward who can play a decent 200-foot game and excel on the penalty kill as well. He will be a welcomed addition in the Green and White. Baker will join fellow Spartans Trey Augustine and Red Savage as Spartans who have been also drafted by Detroit.

I look forward to hopefully seeing these guys' skills in East Lansing this fall.