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NAHL alumni on NHL Opening Night rosters remains steady

October 3, 2019

Former Minot Minotauros and NAHL forward Blake Lizotte, who was the NAHL Rookie of the Year during the 2014-15 season, made the Opening Night roster of the Los Angeles Kings.

As the National Hockey League (NHL) opens its 2019-20 season, the NAHL alumni presence on opening night rosters continues to remain steady and significant. 
The NAHL is pleased to announce that a total of 40+ NAHL alumni are listed on opening night rosters of NHL clubs. 21 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. 
Earlier this summer, a total of 90+ NAHL alumni attended NHL Development Camps and the league also saw six players with NAHL experience selected in the 2019 NHL Draft held in Vancouver, BC.
For the third straight season, the NAHL has gone over 300 NCAA commitments in a single-season. In 2019, the NAHL once again set a new single-season record as 351 players were committed to an NCAA school during the 2018-19 season. 232 of those commitments (66%) were to NCAA Division I schools.
In the past five years, not only have 1,400+ NAHL players made NCAA commitments, but 30 players with NAHL ties have been taken in the NHL Draft.
Anaheim Ducks: Patrick Eaves, Cam Fowler, Ryan Kesler, Ryan Miller
Arizona Coyotes: Phil Kessel
Buffalo Sabres: Matt Hunwick
Calgary Flames: Austin Czarnik
Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad
Colorado Avalanche: Ian Cole, Erik Johnson, Matt Nieto, Colin Wilson
Columbus Blue Jackets: Nick Foligno
Dallas Stars: Ben Bishop, Roope Hintz, Stephen Johns
Detroit Red Wings: Jimmy Howard
Los Angeles Kings: Derek Forbort, Blake Lizotte
Minnesota Wild: Alex Stalock, Ryan Suter, Jason Zucker
Montreal Canadiens: Christian Folin, Keith Kinkaid
New Jersey Devils: Andy Greene, Kyle Palmieri, Cory Schneider
Ottawa Senators: Craig Anderson, Ron Hainsey
Philadelphia Flyers: James van Riemsdyk
Pittsburgh Penguins: Jack Johnson, Bryan Rust
St. Louis Blues: Justin Faulk 
Tampa Bay Lightning: Pat Maroon, Kevin Shattenkirk
Vegas Golden Knights: Jon Merrill
Washington Capitals: Nic Dowd, Phoenix Copley
Winnipeg Jets: Connor Hellebuyck, Tucker Poolman


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