PITTSBURGH - Miami University incoming freshman Riley Barber was drafted by the Washington Capitals Saturday, on day two of the 2012 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft at the CONSOL Energy Center, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Barber (Livonia, Mich.) was taken with the 16th pick of the sixth round (167th overall). With his selection, the RedHawks have now had at least one player chosen in the NHL Draft each of the last 12 years while he is the 24th player to be drafted under head coach Enrico Blasi's tenure. Barber joins classmate Sean Kuraly as NHL draft picks from Miami's incoming freshman class. Kuraly was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the fifth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
This past year, Barber was a member of the U.S. National Team Development Program and helped lead the U.S. U-18 Team to a gold medal at the World Under-18 Championships. In 2011-12, the 6-foot-0 forward played in 56 games in the United States Hockey League (USHL), scoring 20 goals while adding 15 assists for 35 points. Barber's father, Don, played for four NHL teams from 1988-1992.
Barber was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 USHL Future's Draft and played for the Dubuque Fighting Saints in 2010-11, helping lead them to the Clark Cup title for winning the USHL Playoffs, as he scored a pair of goals in 11 games. In his lone season with Dubuque, he played in 57 regular-season games, totaling 28 points on 14 goals and assists each. He also represented Team USA in international play in 2010-11, as well.
Barber becomes the 56th RedHawk in program history to be drafted in the NHL and the second by Washington, joining Ken House, who was taken in 1989 and played at Miami from 1989-1992. Barber joins Cameron Schilling, who graduated last year, as prospects in the Capitals system, as Schilling signed as a free agent with Washington in March.
Miami will now have five NHL draft picks on its 2012-13 roster, as Barber and Kuraly join senior forward Curtis McKenzie, who was taken by the Dallas Stars in 2009, and sophomore forwards Jimmy Mullin and Blake Coleman. Mullin was chosen in the 2010 NHL Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning and Coleman was selected in the 2011 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils.
Barber and Kuraly will make their RedHawk debut Oct. 7 when Miami plays its exhibition game against Western Ontario before beginning the regular season Oct. 12 at home against Colgate.