More than 200 former NCAA hockey players have reported to the NHL’s hub cities of Edmonton and Toronto to begin the chase for the Stanley Cup.
Play begins Saturday, Aug. 1, with 218 former college players representing 43 schools on the 24 NHL rosters.
Six of the eight qualifying series will pit former college teammates against each other:
- PIT-MTL: UMass Lowell teammates Chad Ruhwedel (PIT) and Christian Folin (MTL)
- CAR-NYR: Wisconsin teammates Jake Gardiner (CAR) and Brendan Smith (NYR); Minnesota teammates Brady Skjei (CAR) and Vinni Lettieri (NYR)
- TOR-CBJ: Michigan teammates Zach Hyman (TOR) and Zach Werenski (CBJ)
- EDM-CHI: Omaha teammates Josh Archibald (EDM) and Nick Seeler (CHI)
- VAN-MIN: North Dakota teammates Brock Boeser, Troy Stecher (VAN) and Luke Johnson (MIN)
- NSH-ARI: Boston University teammates Dante Fabbro (NSH) and Clayton Keller (ARI); Wisconsin teammates Craig Smith (NSH) and Derek Stepan (ARI)
Pittsburgh leads all NHL teams with 18 NCAA alumni on its roster, while the University of Minnesota boasts the most alumni in action with 17.
Most NCAA Alumni, NHL Teams
18 – Pittsburgh
15 – Minnesota
12 – Philadelphia
11 – Colorado, Winnipeg
10 – Boston, Arizona
Most Alumni, NCAA Teams
17 – Minnesota
16 – Boston University
15 – Michigan
14 – Boston College, North Dakota
12 – Notre Dame, Wisconsin
Eighteen of the 24 NHL teams have at least one former NCAA champion on their roster, with 29 players total having won a national title in college. Three Hobey Baker Award winners are among the participants (Cale Makar, Adam Gaudette, Johnny Gaudreau).
The NCAA influence extends beyond the ice as well: nine general managers and seven head coaches in the NHL postseason played college hockey.