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Nineteen NCHC Alumni Taking Part in First Round of 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs

By NCHC, 08/11/20, 11:00AM EDT


A total of 35 alumni from NCHC schools will compete for the Stanley Cup

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – As the official first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs get underway today, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 19 former National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) players will be taking part, while a total of 35 alumni from NCHC member schools are in pursuit of Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Following the NHL’s qualifying series last week, half of the first-round series get underway Aug. 11, while the other four playoff series start on Wednesday, Aug. 12. Seven NCHC teams are represented in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, led by 10 North Dakota alums, six of which played in the NCHC. Miami has six former standouts remaining in the NHL’s postseason, half of which competed in the NCHC. Colorado College, Denver, Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State all have four representatives in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with three of SCSU’s alums playing in the NCHC and two each from CC and UMD. Western Michigan rounds out the group with three former Broncos remaining in the postseason, including two NCHC alumni.

From an NHL standpoint, the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues each have four alumni of the conference’s member teams on their roster, with three of the four alums on the Avalanche having played in the NCHC. The Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals all have three representatives from NCHC member schools, with all three of the Canadiens having skated in the NCHC. The only two remaining Stanley Cup Playoff teams without an alumnus from an NCHC school are Columbus and Dallas.

Former NCHC teammates will be squaring off in two different first-round series. The defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues face the Vancouver Canucks in a battle of former North Dakota standouts, as forward Austin Poganski plays for the Blues, but was teammates with both forward Brock Boeser and defenseman Troy Stecher, now with the Canucks, in 2015-16, as the trio won a national championship together. Also out west, a pair of former Broncos battle in the first round as defenseman Jordan Oesterle and the Arizona Coyotes tangle with forward Sheldon Dries and the Colorado Avalanche. The two played together at Western Michigan in 2013-14 in the NCHC's inaugural season.

Among the 35 NCHC school alumni chasing the Cup, 20 are forwards, 13 are blue liners and two are goaltenders. Among the 19 former NCHC standouts, 13 are forwards, five are defensemen and one (SCSU’s Charlie Lindgren) is a goaltender.

Three NCHC alumni have hoisted the Stanley Cup previously, with former Omaha Mavericks Josh Archibald and Jake Guentzel doing so with Pittsburgh in 2017 and former UND forward Shane Gersich lifting it with Washington in 2018. Both Archibald, now with the Edmonton Oilers, and Guentzel, still with the Penguins, were eliminated in the qualifying round this year.

A total of 47 NCHC alumni played in the NHL during the 2019-20 season.

The complete list of NCHC and member school alumni competing in the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs is below, with NCHC alumni in bold.

Curtis McElhinney, G, Tampa Bay
Gustav Olofsson, D, Montreal
Jaden Schwartz, F, St. Louis
Jaccob Slavin, D, Carolina

Tyler Bozak, F, St. Louis
Scott Mayfield, D, New York Islanders
Logan O’Connor, F, Colorado
Paul Stastny, F, Vegas

Blake Coleman, F, Tampa Bay
Austin Czarnik, F, Calgary

Andy Greene, D, New York Islanders
Sean Kuraly, F, Boston
Alec Martinez, D, Vegas
Reilly Smith, F, Vegas

Justin Faulk, D, St. Louis
Karson Kuhlman, F, Boston
Matt Niskanen, D, Philadelphia
Andy Welinski, D, Philadelphia

Brock Boeser, F, Vancouver
Drake Caggiula, F, Chicago

Derek Forbort, D, Calgary
Tyson Jost, F, Colorado
Brock Nelson, F, New York Islanders
T.J. Oshie, F, Washington
Austin Poganski, F, St. Louis
Nick Schmaltz, F, Arizona
Troy Stecher, D, Vancouver

Jonathan Toews, F, Chicago


Nic Dowd, F, Washington
Nick Jensen, D, Washington
Charlie Lindgren, G, Montreal
Ryan Poehling, F, Montreal

Sheldon Dries, F, Colorado
Kevin Connauton, D, Colorado
Jordan Oesterle, D, Arizona