GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs get underway on Wednesday night and no fewer than 13 alumni of the University of North Dakota are seeking to have their names engraved on the most cherished trophy in professional sports.
All but one of the eight first-round series matchups will feature at least one North Dakota product, with three of those series beginning tonight: Dave Hakstol’s Philadelphia Flyers vs. Carter Rowney’s Pittsburgh Penguins; Zach Parise’s Minnesota Wild vs. Tucker Poolman’s Winnipeg Jets; and Derek Forbort, Paul LaDue and the Los Angeles Kings vs. the Vegas Golden Knights.
The remaining series get underway on Thursday, including: Drew Stafford, Travis Zajac and the New Jersey Devils vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning; Taylor Chorney and the Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Shane Gersich, T.J. Oshie and the Washington Capitals; Tyson Jost’s Colorado Avalanche vs. the Nashville Predators; and Aaron Dell’s San Jose Sharks vs. the Anaheim Ducks.
Sixteen different UND products have had their names etched on Lord Stanley’s Cup, most recently Rowney last season with the Penguins:
|1983-84||Gord Sherven||Edmonton Oilers|
|1985-86||Craig Ludwig||Montreal Canadiens|
|1989-90||Geoff Smith||Edmonton Oilers|
|1990-91||Jay Caufield||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|1991-92||Jay Caufield||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|1995-96||Troy Murray||Colorado Avalanche|
|1998-99||Ed Belfour||Dallas Stars|
|1998-99||Tony Hrkac||Dallas Stars|
|1998-99||Craig Ludwig||Dallas Stars|
|1998-99||Rick Wilson (AC)||Dallas Stars|
|1999-00||Brad Bombardir||New Jersey Devils|
|2005-06||Mike Commodore||Carolina Hurricanes|
|2009-10||Jonathan Toews||Chicago Blackhawks|
|2011-12||Matt Greene||Los Angeles Kings|
|2012-13||Jonathan Toews||Chicago Blackhawks|
|2013-14||Matt Greene||Los Angeles Kings|
|2014-15||Jonathan Toews||Chicago Blackhawks|
|2016-17||Carter Rowney||Pittsburgh Penguins|
Click HERE for the complete first-round schedule and viewing information.
REGULAR SEASON RECAP:
For the second year in a row, a school-record 22 UND alums played in the NHL in 2017-18, including three players who made their NHL debuts: Shane Gersich (Washington), Tucker Poolman (Winnipeg) and Christian Wolanin (Ottawa).
UND’s 22 NHLers were by far the most of any National Collegiate Hockey Conference program: Denver (13), Miami (11), Minnesota Duluth (10), St. Cloud State (8), Western Michigan (8), Colorado College (5), Omaha (5).
When Gersich debuted with the Capitals on March 28, he became the 100th product of the University of North Dakota to play in the NHL, second-most in the entire nation behind only Minnesota.
|Brock Boeser||Vancouver Canucks|
|Drake Caggiula||Edmonton Oilers|
|Taylor Chorney||Washington /Columbus|
|Aaron Dell||San Jose Sharks|
|Derek Forbort||Los Angeles Kings|
|Shane Gersich||Washington Capitals|
|Rocco Grimaldi||Colorado Avalanche|
|Tyson Jost||Colorado Avalanche|
|Paul LaDue||Los Angeles Kings|
|Brad Malone||Edmonton Oilers|
|Brock Nelson||New York Islanders|
|T.J. Oshie||Washington Capitals|
|Zach Parise||Minnesota Wild|
|Tucker Poolman||Winnipeg Jets|
|Carter Rowney||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Jordan Schmaltz||St. Louis Blues|
|Nick Schmaltz||Chicago Blackhawks|
|Drew Stafford||New Jersey Devils|
|Troy Stecher||Vancouver Canucks|
|Jonathan Toews||Chicago Blackhawks|
|Christian Wolanin||Ottawa Senators|
|Travis Zajac||New Jersey Devils|
In addition to those 22 players, 10 more UND alumni served in coaching or management capacities in 2017-18: Philadelphia Head Coach Dave Hakstol, Dallas Assistant Coach Rick Wilson, Arizona Video Coach Steve Peters, Calgary Assistant General Manager Brad Pascall, Minnesota Director of Player Development Brad Bombardir, Vancouver Director of Player Development Ryan Johnson, New York Rangers Director of Professional Scouting Kevin Maxwell, Philadelphia Player Development Brett Hextall, Los Angeles Professional Scout Matt Greene, and Tampa Bay Professional Scout Tony Hrkac.
Additionally, UND football alum Mark Chipman is the chairman of True North Sports & Entertainment, the group that owns the Winnipeg Jets.
Former UND All-America winger Brock Boeser was named the Vancouver Canucks’ Most Valuable Player as a rookie despite an injury-shortened season in which he was limited to 62 games. Boeser made the most of those 62 games, leading the Canucks and ranking second among all NHL rookies with 29 goals while tying for the Vancouver scoring lead with 55 points. He led all NHL rookies in goals per game (0.47).
Boeser enjoyed a weekend to remember at the NHL All-Star Weekend, earning All-Star MVP honors with a pair of goals one night after winning the league’s Accuracy Shooting title.
Boeser was the 10th different UND alum to participate in the NHL All-Star game, joining Ed Belfour (5x), Jonathan Toews (4x), Dennis Hextall (2x), Jason Blake, Jon Casey, Dave Christian, John Marks, Zach Parise and Doug Smail.
In 2015-16, UND’s vaunted “CBS Line” of Caggiula, Boeser and Schmaltz powered the Fighting Hawks to a national championship. This season, that trio combined for 63 goals and 127 in the NHL. Both Boeser (29-26—55) and Schmaltz (21-32—52) eclipsed the 20-goal plateaus while Caggiula notched a career-high 13 … Schmaltz and Toews tied for second on the Blackhawks with 52 points each. Toews also reached the 20-goal mark for the 11th time in as many seasons … Hakstol achieved his 100th NHL win on Jan. 13, the ninth coach in Flyers’ history to do so.