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NAHL presence on NHL Opening Night rosters remains significant

October 4, 2018

NAHL alum Connor Hellebuyck enters the season as one of the Vezina Trophy favorites in the NHL.

As the National Hockey League (NHL) opens its 2018-19 season, the NAHL alumni presence on opening night rosters is once again steady and significant. 
The NAHL is pleased to announce that a total of 52 NAHL alumni are listed on opening night rosters of NHL clubs. 22 of the 31 NHL clubs begin the season with at least one NAHL alumni on the roster. 
The list also includes former NAHL Coach of the Year Jon Cooper, who enters his sixth full season as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Cooper began his NAHL coaching career with the Texarkana Bandits in the 2003-04 season.  He coached in the NAHL a total of five seasons.  In 2004-05 and again in 2007-08, he was honored as the NAHL Coach of the Year. 
The 52 players on opening night rosters continue the upward trend of the NAHL and NHL.  Earlier this week, 15 current and former NAHL players were listed on the NHL Central Scouting players to watch list for the 2019 NHL Draft.
In the past five years, not only have 1,345 NAHL players made NCAA commitments, but 21 NAHL players have been taken in the NHL Draft.
Anaheim Ducks: Patrick Eaves, Cam Fowler, Ryan Kesler, Ryan Miller, Andrej Sustr
Buffalo Sabres: Matt Hunwick, Casey Nelson, Matt Tennyson
Calgary Flames: Austin Czarnik, Matt Taormina
Carolina Hurricanes: Scott Darling, Justin Faulk, Justin Williams
Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad
Colorado Avalanche: Ian Cole, Erik Johnson, Matt Nieto, Colin Wilson
Columbus Blue Jackets: Adam Clendening, Nick Foligno
Dallas Stars: Ben Bishop, Roope Hintz, Stephen Johns
Detroit Red Wings: Jimmy Howard, Thomas Vanek
Los Angeles Kings: Paul LaDue, Derek Forbort
Minnesota Wild: Alex Stalock, Ryan Suter, Jason Zucker
New Jersey Devils: Andy Greene, Keith Kinkaid, Kyle Palmieri, Cory Schneider
New York Islanders: Stephen Gionta
New York Rangers: Kevin Shattenkirk
Ottawa Senators: Craig Anderson, Chris Wideman
Philadelphia Flyers: Christian Folin, Anthony Stolarz, James van Riemsdyk
Pittsburgh Penguins: Jack Johnson, Phil Kessel, Bryan Rust
St. Louis Blues: Patrick Maroon
Toronto Maple Leafs: Ron Hainsey
Vegas Golden Knights: Jon Merrill
Washington Capitals: Nic Dowd, Phoenix Copley
Winnipeg Jets: Connor Hellebuyck, Tucker Poolman
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