WAKEFIELD, Mass. - The Hockey East Association is guaranteed to claim at least one Stanley Cup champion for the 10th year in a row, as five alumni representing five different universities remain in contention to win the National Hockey League’s top prize beginning Monday night. A full list of the players can be found below.
The Tampa Bay Lightning boast three of the five alumni, including one player, Vermont forward Ross Colton (2016-18), in addition to employing Boston College’s Stephen Gionta (2002-06) as a pro scout and New Hampshire’s Brian Putnam (1993-97) as an amateur scout in its front office.
The Montreal Canadiens roster carries Notre Dame forward Jake Evans (2014-17), who competed in the nation’s top college hockey conference for three seasons. Former Providence College Friar Trevor Hanson (1992-96) serves as an amateur scout for the Canadiens. Additionally, Montreal Head Coach Dominic Ducharme competed for Vermont from 1991-95 when the Catamounts played in ECAC Hockey, making Vermont one of only two NCAA schools guaranteed a Stanley Cup Champion in 2021 (Wisconsin.)
Last season, the champion Lightning rostered one Hockey East player, Boston University defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (2007-10), in addition to employing Gionta.
In the NHL’s Return to Play this summer, 23 of the 24 returning teams boasted a Hockey East alumnus on their Stanley Cup Playoff roster, totaling 71 former Hockey East players in the playoffs. Boston University led the way with 16 former players, good for second most of any NCAA program this year, followed by Boston College with 14, Northeastern with seven, Providence and UMass with six apiece, New Hampshire with five, Maine with four, UMass Lowell with three, and Merrimack with one. The 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins had a record seven Hockey East players on their Stanley Cup Championship team.
The Hockey East Association was once again the most well-represented college hockey conference in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as 108 league alumni, including 54 players, entered the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. Each of the 16 NHL clubs that qualified for the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs boasted at least one Hockey East alumnus on roster. The impressive showing set the stage for 2020-21 to be the first year in which 100 Hockey East alumni appear in the NHL, comprising nearly a third of the over 300 NCAA alumni who appeared in the NHL this season.
Players (1) – Jake Evans - Notre Dame (2014-17)
Amateur Scout Trevor Hanson – Providence (1992-96)
Tampa Bay Lightning
Players (1) – Ross Colton - Vermont (2016-18)
Pro Scout Stephen Gionta – Boston College (2002-06)
Amateur Scout Brian Putnam – New Hampshire (1993-97)