Former Massachusetts defender Cale Makar earned the Conn Smythe Trophy last season as Stanley Cup playoff MVP
83 Hockey East Alumni Begin Quest for Stanley Cup
League Again Boasts Most NHL Players In NHL Playoffs

AMESBURY, Mass. - The Hockey East Association is once again the most well-represented college hockey conference in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with 83 league alumni set to contend for the NHL’s top prize in 2023. The alumni include 37 active players and 46 staff and front office members, with at least one representative from 10 different institutions. A full list of players can staff can be found below.

Hockey East has more front office and coaching staff representatives than any other conference in this year’s playoffs, while the 37 active players are the most alumni of any college league. Of the 130 NCAA alumni on NHL playoff rosters, Hockey East accounts for over a quarter of those seeking a Stanley Cup victory. Fifteen of the 16 clubs that qualified for the playoffs have at least one Hockey East alumni on their roster, and all 16 playoff teams have at least one Hockey East alumni on the coaching staff or front office.

The 37 active players represent 10 different institutions, with Boston College boasting a league-leading nine representatives. Boston University claims eight alumni, while Maine sits at third-most with five former players entering the playoffs. Massachusetts and Providence have four products each. Northeastern has three representatives followed by New Hampshire with two. UMass Lowell and Vermont each claim one former player.

Among NHL playoff teams, the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers hold the title for the most Hockey East alumni on their rosters, with five players each hailing from five different programs. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Vegas Golden Knights, Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild come in second with three former league players on their playoff rosters, while the Seattle Kraken and Dallas Stars each have two. The New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, New Jersey Devils, Winnipeg Jets, New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes all carry one alumni heading into the playoffs. The 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins hold the record for the Stanley Cup Champion with the most Hockey East alumni, as seven league-developed players raised the Cup that season.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin after an incredible 2022-23 season for Hockey East alumni in the NHL. In total, 107 Hockey East alumni appeared in at least one NHL game. Hockey East represented nearly one-third of the 333 NCAA alumni to play in the NHL last season. All 11 current men’s member institutions had at least one former player represented. Hockey East claimed seven 2023 NHL All-Stars, and boasts over 100 NHL players for the third year in a row.

Last season, current Colorado defenseman and former Massachusetts defender Cale Makar scored eight goals and had 21 assists through 20 games to win the Conn Smythe Trophy en route to the Avalanche’s Stanley Cup win. It marked the 12th-straight season a former Hockey East player has lifted the Cup. Makar is a former Hobey Baker winner, Hockey East Player of the Year, and he is a part of a Colorado team looking for their second straight title.

In addition to the 130 NCAA alumni listed on NHL playoff rosters, 10 of the 16 qualifying teams were assembled by general managers who played college hockey: Boston’s Don Sweeney (Harvard), Carolina’s Don Waddell (Northern Michigan), Colorado’s Chris MacFarland (Pace), Florida’s Bill Zito (Yale), Los Angeles’ Rob Blake (Bowling Green), Minnesota’s Bill Guerin (Boston College), New Jersey’s Tom Fitzgerald (Providence), New York Islander’s Lou Lamoriello (Providence), New York Ranger’s Chris Drury (Boston University) and Vegas Golden Knight’s Kelly McCrimmon (Michigan).

Four of the qualifying teams are coached by ex-NCAA standouts: Carolina’s Rod Brind’Amour (Michigan State), Edmonton’s Jay Woodcroft (Alabama-Huntsville, brother of Vermont Head Coach Todd Woodcroft), Boston’s Jim Montgomery (Maine) and Seattle’s Dave Hakstol (North Dakota).

Boston Bruins

Players - Jeremy Swayman, (Maine, 2017-20); Charlie Coyle (Boston University, 2010-11), Matt Grzelcyk (Boston University, 2012-16), Charlie McAvoy (Boston University, 2015-17), A.J. Greer (Boston University, 2014-16)
Head Coach Jim Montgomery - Maine (1989-93)
Assistant Coach Joe Sacco – Boston University (1987-90)
Goaltending Development Coach Mike Dunham – Maine (1990-93)
Skating and Skills Consultant David Breen - Merrimack (2002-2004)
Skating and Skills Consultant John McLean - Boston College (1983-87)

Carolina Hurricanes

Players - Brett Pesce (New Hampshire, 2012-15)
Defensemen Development Peter Harrold – Boston College (2002-06)

Colorado Avalanche

Players - Cale Makar (Massachusetts, 2017-19), Alex Newhook (Boston College, 2019-21), Josh Manson (Northeastern, 2011-14), Evan Rodrigues (Boston University 2011-15), Matt Nieto (Boston University 2010-13)
Scout Neil Shea – Boston College (1982-86)

Dallas Stars

Players - Jake Oettinger (Boston University, 2016-19), Joel Hanley (Massachusetts 2010-14)
Director, Hockey Strategy/Scouting & Development Steve Greeley – Boston University (2000-04)
Amateur Scout Buddy Powers – Boston University (1972-75)

Edmonton Oilers

Players - Devin Shore (Maine, 2012-15), Warren Foegele (New Hampshire, 2014-15), Vincent Desharnais (Providence 2015-2019)
Chairman Bob Nicholson – Providence
Amateur Scout Scott Harlow – Boston College (1982-86)

Florida Panthers

Players - Spencer Knight (Boston College 2019-21), Brandon Montour (Massachusetts 2014-15), Ryan Lomberg (Maine 2012-14), Casey Fitzgerald (Boston College 2015-19), Colin White (Boston College 2015-17)
Assistant General Manager Brett Peterson - Boston College (2000-2004)
Manager, Player Development Mike Ryan – Northeastern (1999-2003)
Amateur Scout P.J. Fenton – Massachusetts (2004-08)
Amateur Scout Josh Monk – Providence (2013-17)

Los Angeles Kings

AHL Scout/Growth & Inclusion Specialist Blake Bolden - Boston College (2009-13)

Minnesota Wild

Players - Matt Boldy (Boston College, 2019-21), Gustav Nyquist (Maine 2008-11), Brandon Duhaime (Providence, 2016-19)
General Manager Bill Guerin – Boston College (1989-91)
Director, Pro Scouting Chris Kelleher – Boston University (1994-98)
Pro Scout Mark Mowers – New Hampshire (1994-98)
AHL Head Coach Tim Army – Providence (1981-85)

New Jersey Devils

Players - Miles Wood (Boston College 2015-16)
Executive Vice President & General Manager Tom Fitzgerald - Providence (1986-88)
Player Development Coach Eric Weinrich - Maine (1985-88)
Director, Goaltending Development Scott Clemmensen - Boston College (1997-2001)
Skills Development Coordinator Ryan Murphy - Boston College (2001-2005)
Chief Scout, Amateur Scouting Mark Dennehy - Boston College (1987-91)
Head of US Scouting Scott Lachance - Boston University (1990-91)
Pro Scout Brian Strait - Boston University (2006-2009)

New York Islanders

Players - Oliver Wahlstrom (Boston College 2018-19)
President, Hockey Ops, GM Lou Lamoriello - Providence (1960-63)
Assistant General Manager/AHL GM Chris Lamoriello - Providence (1990-94)
Player Development Marty Reasoner- Boston College (1995-98)
AHL Goaltending Coach/Player Development Chris Terreri - Providence (1983-86)
Scout Gates Orlando - Providence (1980-1984)
Scout Chris O’Sullivan - Boston University (1992-96)
Pro Scout Steve Kariya - Maine (1995-99)

New York Rangers

Players - Chris Kreider (Boston College, 2009-12)
President & General Manager Chris Drury – Boston University (1994-98)
Director, Player Personnel & Amateur Scouting John Lilley - Boston University (1991-92)

Seattle Kraken

Players - Brandon Tanev (Providence 2012-2016), Jamie Oleksiak (Northeastern 2010-11)
Assistant Coach Jay Leach - (Providence (1997-2001)
Player Development Coach Justin Rai - Maine (2015-16)
Amateur Scout Eddie Olczyk Jr. - Massachusetts (2009-13)
Goaltending Scout Andrew Allen - Vermont (1997-2000)

Tampa Bay Lightning

Players - Ross Colton (Vermont, 2016-18)
Pro Scout Stephen Gionta – Boston College (2002-06)
Amateur Scout Brian Putnam – New Hampshire (1993-97)

Toronto Maple Leafs

Players - Zach Aston-Reese (Northeastern 2013-17), Noel Acciari (Providence 2011-15), Joseph Woll (Boston College 2016-19)
Director, Amateur Scouting/Assistant Director, Player Personnel Wes Clark – Maine (2004-08)
Amateur Scout Jim Vesey – Merrimack (1984-88)
AHL Head Coach Greg Moore – Maine (2002-06)

Vegas Golden Knights

Players - Jack Eichel (Boston University 2014-15), Ben Hutton (Maine 2012-15), Jonathan Quick (Massachusetts, 2005-07)
European Scout Peter Ahola - Boston University (1989-91)

Winnipeg Jets

Players - Connor Hellebuyck (UMass Lowell 2012-14)
Scout Mike White - New Hampshire (199-2001)