NAHL Alumni on NHL Opening Night Rosters

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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

Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates after scoring a goal in the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center on February 10, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Red Wings 5-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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

Jimmy Howard (35) and the Detroit Red Wings warming up before their game against the New Jersey Devils on Hockey Fights Cancer Night at Prudential Center in Newark on Nov. 23, 2019. (Photo by J.C. Hageny/HockeyClan)

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

Kyle Okposo #21 of the Buffalo Sabres takes a shot on Connor Hellebuyck #37 of the Winnipeg Jets as he tends net during the third period at KeyBank Center on February 10, 2019 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)

Related: The NAHL Impact

Republished with permission from USA Junior Hockey Magazine

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Full October Issue

Main Image: Goalie Connor Hellebuyck #37 of the Winnipeg Jets makes a save on a shot by Kevin Fiala #22 of the Nashville Predators during the third period of 6-2 Jets victory in Game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Second Round at Bridgestone Arena on May 5, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

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