Former Bowling Green teammates Brian MacLellan and George McPhee have guided the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final, which begins Monday in Las Vegas. The two former Falcons have both utilized numerous NCAA alumni as they have built their teams. Nine schools have had former players suit up for the Capitals and Golden Knights in these playoffs, with multiple players representing Minnesota, Boston College and North Dakota.
Matt Niskanen (Minnesota Duluth) and Brooks Orpik (Boston College) are Washington’s two most experienced defensemen. Orpik, who helped lead the Eagles to the 2001 NCAA championship, is the one regular on the two teams who won a national title in college.
Up front, T.J. Oshie (North Dakota) has 15 points in 19 playoff games and his five power-play goals lead all players in the Final.
In Vegas, Reilly Smith (Miami) and Alex Tuch (Boston College) have been among the Golden Knights’ top offensive threats. Smith’s 14 assists in the playoffs lead all players in the Final and trail only Minnesota alum Blake Wheeler (18) in the playoffs. Tuch’s nine points rank second among playoff rookies behind only Kyle Connor (Michigan, 10).
Defensively, former Capital Nate Schmidt (Minnesota) has been a breakout star in these playoffs and leads Vegas in ice time.
MacLellan and McPhee, who played for Ron Mason and Jerry York at Bowling Green, head an impressive list of NCAA alumni in the front offices for the two teams. MacLellan and McPhee were both first-team All-Americans as seniors, when they led the Falcons to the CCHA regular-season championship and an NCAA Tournament berth.
Two other college teammates are in opposite front offices in Vegas assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon and Washington director of player development Steve Richmond. Those two played together at Michigan.
Other NCAA alumni in the front offices include Washington president Dick Patrick (Dartmouth) and assistant coach Todd Reirden (Bowling Green) and Vegas director of player development Wil Nichol (Wisconsin-Stevens Point) and director of hockey operations Misha Donskov (Norwich).
For a full list of NCAA alumni in the series check out our NHL Matchup Tool.