COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) will be well represented when the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs get underway Saturday night, May 15, as 26 NCHC alumni from seven schools are set to take part in this year’s NHL Playoffs. A total of 46 alumni from NCHC schools will compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup in 2021, with all eight NCHC teams represented.
Among former NCHC players, Miami, Minnesota Duluth and North Dakota each have six alumni playing for the Cup, while St. Cloud State has four, Omaha has two and Colorado College and Denver have one each. Among all alumni, UND leads the way with 11 former players in the postseason, while Miami has nine, UMD eight and Denver six. Five former Huskies are competing for the Cup, while CC and Omaha have three each and Western Michigan has one representative.
At least one former NCHC standout is on 14 of the 16 NHL playoff teams (Toronto and Vegas are not represented), while 15 of 16 have an alum of an NCHC team (only Toronto is not represented). The New York Islanders have the most representatives among NCHC team alumni with six, while Colorado and Winnipeg have five each.
The West Division first round series between the Avalanche and St. Louis has the most combined alumni of NCHC teams with nine (St. Louis has four alums), including former UND teammates Tyson Jost (of Colorado) and Austin Poganski (of the Blues) going head-to-head. The North Division battle between Edmonton and Winnipeg and East Division series between Pittsburgh and the Islanders are next with a combined eight former players of NCHC teams in each first round match-up.
Among the 46 overall alumni, 26 are forwards, 15 are defensemen and five are goaltenders. Of the 26 NCHC alumni in the playoffs, 15 are forwards, eight are blue liners and three are netminders.
Four NCHC alumni have previously hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup, including former Miami star and 2015 Frozen Faceoff Most Outstanding Player Blake Coleman with the Tampa Bay Lightning last season. Former Omaha standouts Josh Archibald, the inaugural NCHC Player of the Year, and Jake Guentzel each won the Cup with Pittsburgh in 2017, while former UND forward Shane Gersich lifted the Cup with Washington in 2018.
All 46 alumni looking to lift the Cup this year are listed below by NCHC school, with NCHC alumni in bold.
Curtis McElhinney (2001-05), Tampa Bay
Jaden Schwartz (2010-12), St. Louis
Jaccob Slavin (2013-15), Carolina
Tyler Bozak (2007-09), St. Louis
Scott Mayfield, (2011-13), NY Islanders
Logan O’Connor (2015-18), Colorado
Drew Shore (2009-12), Carolina
Paul Stastny (2004-06), Winnipeg
Jason Zucker (2010-12), Pittsburgh
Louie Belpedio (2014-18), Minnesota
Blake Coleman (2011-15), Tampa Bay
Austin Czarnik (2011-15), NY Islanders
Andy Greene (2002-06), NY Islanders
Grant Hutton (2015-19), NY Islanders
Sean Kuraly (2012-16), Boston
Alec Martinez (2005-08), Vegas
Kiefer Sherwood (2015-18), Colorado
Reilly Smith (2009-12), Vegas
Justin Faulk (2010-11), St. Louis
Kasimir Kaskisuo (2014-16), Nashville
Karson Kuhlman (2014-18), Boston
Hunter Miska (2016-17), Colorado
Neal Pionk (2015-17), Winnipeg
Carson Soucy (2013-17), Minnesota
Alex Stalock (2006-09), Edmonton
Dominic Toninato (2013-17), Winnipeg
Derek Forbort (2010-13), Winnipeg
Rocco Grimaldi (2011-14), Nashville
Luke Johnson (2013-16), Minnesota
Tyson Jost (2016-17), Colorado
Matt Kiersted (2017-21), Florida
Brock Nelson (2010-12), NY Islanders
T.J. Oshie (2005-08), Washington
Zach Parise (2002-04), Minnesota
Austin Poganski (2014-18), St. Louis
Tucker Poolman (2014-17), Winnipeg
Travis Zajac (2004-06), NY Islanders
Josh Archibald (2011-14), Edmonton
Jake Guentzel (2013-16), Pittsburgh
Jayson Megna (2011-12), Colorado
ST. CLOUD STATE
Jack Ahcan (2016-20), Boston
Nic Dowd (2010-14), Washington
Nick Jensen (2010-13), Washington
Charlie Lindgren (2013-16), Montreal
Patrick Russell (2014-16), Edmonton
Kevin Connauton (2008-09), Florida