In the two major college sports, football and basketball, players must give up their remaining eligibility in order to declare for the pro draft. However, in hockey, players are routinely drafted whilst still underclassmen, and yet are allowed to play out their remaining years in college. why is this? What is the NCAA’s reason for this difference?
Not entirely true. From the NCAA website:
As far as the NHL goes, a college player can be drafted and the NHL team will retain his rights until graduation so that he doesn’t need to give up his eligibility. Players drafted out of Major Junior hockey are the property of the team for 2 years. If the player is not signed in that time, the player is free to re-enter the draft. Here is a story about player eligibility.