The puck will drop on the Stanley Cup Playoffs Saturday, with more than 100 NCAA alumni pursuing the sport’s biggest prize.
First-round matchups will pit former college teammates against each other and introduce NHL newcomers like Cole Caufield (Montreal/Wisconsin) and Alex Newhook (Boston College/Colorado) to the postseason.
See the Matchups: NHL Matchup Tool
Every Stanley Cup Playoff game should feature between eight and 20 former college players in the lineup. Among the highlights:
- Former teammates will meet in half of the first-round series: Toronto vs. Montreal (Zach Hyman-Jon Merrill), Pittsburgh vs. New York Islanders (Jason Zucker-Scott Mayfield), Carolina vs. Nashville (Brady Skjei-Erik Haula) and Washington vs. Boston (Justin Schultz-Craig Smith and Carl Hagelin-Steven Kampfer).
- Two of the last three Hobey Baker Award winners will be in action (Cale Makar-Colorado and Caufield-Montreal).
- Eight NCAA alumni general managers are in the postseason, along with six head coaches who played college hockey.
Four of the Stanley Cup Playoff teams played at least 16 NCAA alumni during the regular season, led by Pittsburgh, where former college players accounted for 56% of the team’s games played (fourth most all-time).
Most NCAA Alumni Used in Regular Season, Playoff Teams
18 – Pittsburgh Penguins
16 – Boston Bruins
16 – Colorado Avalanche
16 – Minnesota Wild
11 – Nashville Predators
11 – St. Louis Blues
Forty NCAA schools had alumni see action for the 16 playoff teams during the regular season.