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151 USHL Ties on NHL Opening Night Rosters

10/12/2021, 4:30pm CDT

31 Teams Feature USHL Alumni on Roster

Chicago, IL - The National Hockey League (NHL) announced Tuesday the Opening Night rosters for all 32 teams ahead of the 2021-22 season beginning Tuesday night. The United States Hockey League (USHL) had a total of 150 former players, plus Madison Capitols Owner Ryan Suter, on the NHL rosters. 

"The NHL is a great partner of ours and we're incredibly excited their season is getting underway, especially with so many of our former players dotting the Opening Night rosters," said USHL President and Commissioner Bill Robertson.

All 16 USHL Member Clubs have at least one player on an NHL roster including high marks of 57 from the USA Hockey National Team Development Program (NTDP), 11 from the Omaha Lancers and 10 from the Waterloo Black Hawks. 

57 - USA Hockey NTDP

11 - Omaha Lancers

10 - Waterloo Black Hawks, Indiana Ice

9 - Green Bay Gamblers

8 - Tri-City Storm

7 - Dubuque Fighting Saints, Sioux City Musketeers, Sioux Falls Stampede

6 - Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Chicago Steel

5 - Des Moines Buccaneers, Muskegon Lumberjacks

4 - Fargo Force

3 - Lincoln Stars, Youngstown Phantoms

1 - Madison Capitols, Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets

Among the NHL teams, the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres lead the way with 10 USHL ties on their Opening Night rosters. The lone NHL team without a USHL tie on the roster is the Edmonton Oilers but both William Lagesson (Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2014-15) and Alex Stalock (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 2004-06) are on the team's injured reserve list. 

10 - Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres

9 - Pittsburgh Penguins

8 - Los Angeles Kings

7 - Minnesota Wild

6 - Calgary Flames, Columbus Blue Jackets, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets

5 - Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers

4 - Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, Seattle Kraken, Washington Capitals 

3 - Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vegas Golden Knights

2 - Tampa Bay Lightning

1 - New Jersey Devils

Story Lines We're Watching

  • Cole Sillinger (Columbus Blue Jackets) was selected 12th overall by Columbus at the 2021 NHL Draft and has made the Opening Night roster after signing his first NHL contract earlier this season. He is just the second USHL alumni of all-time to go directly from the USHL to the NHL.
  • The other player to go straight from the USHL to the NHL was Jack Hughes (New Jersey Devils), who is the lone USHL alumni on the Devils roster for Opening Night. 
  • Sillinger is joined by four other USHL alumni that made the Opening Night rosters for their club who have yet to make their NHL debut: Ryan Dzingel (Arizona Coyotes), Jack Drury (Carolina Hurricanes), Brandon Duhaime (Minnesota Wild) and Jack Dugan (Vegas Golden Knights).
  • The veterans are back as four players with USHL ties begin the 2021-22 NHL season with more than 1,000 NHL games under their belt: Ryan Suter (Dallas Stars) - 1,286 games, Joe Pavelski (Dallas Stars) - 1,247 games, Paul Stastny (Winnipeg Jets) - 1,104 games and Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg Jets) - 1,041 games. 
  • Three USHL alumni are chasing the 1,000 NHL game milestone this season including Alex Goligoski (Minnesota Wild) - 967 games, T.J. Oshie (Washington Capitals) - 952 games and John Carlson (Washington Capitals) - 926 games. 
  • Four USHL alumni are chasing the 900 NHL game milestone this season including Sam Gagner (Detroit Red Wings) - 897 games, Max Pacioretty (Vegas Golden Knights) - 885 games, Kyle Okposo (Buffalo Sabres) - 859 games and Justin Braun (Philadelphia Flyers) - 822 games.
  • Five USHL alumni are chasing the 800 NHL game milestone this season including Jeff Petry (Montreal Canadiens) - 783 games, Craig Smith (Boston Bruins) - 777 games, Alec Martinez (Vegas Golden Knights) - 773 games, Brandon Saad (St. Louis Blues) - 723 games and Justin Faulk (St. Louis Blues) - 710 games.
  • Other USHL alumni looking to hit major games played milestones this NHL season include: Torey Krug (St. Louis Blues) - 653 games, Jaden Schwartz (Seattle Kraken) - 648 games, J.T. Miller (Vancouver Canucks) - 635 games, John Moore (Boston Bruins) - 586 games, Anders Lee (New York Islanders) - 555 games, Jason Zucker (Pittsburgh Penguins) - 550 games, Jacob Trouba (New York Rangers) - 546 games, Nate Schmidt (Winnipeg Jets) - 518 games, Zemgus Girgensons (Buffalo Sabres) - 489 games, Jaccob Slavin (Carolina Hurricanes) - 460 games, Andrew Copp (Winnipeg Jets) - 445 games, Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings) - 438 games, Bryan Rust (Pittsburgh Penguins) - 436 games and Jon Merrill (Minnesota Wild) - 434 games

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