Eight OHL grads competing in Stanley Cup Final
Eight OHL graduates are competing for hockey’s ultimate prize beginning Friday night in Vegas as the expansion Golden Knights continue their storybook run against the Eastern Conference champion Washington Capitals who have reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1998.
James Neal (Plymouth Whalers), Colin Miller (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) and currently injured goaltender Malcolm Subban (Belleville Bulls) are part of a truly remarkable story in Las Vegas. With their Western Conference Championship victory over the Winnipeg Jets, the Golden Knights have joined the 1918 Toronto Arenas and 1968 St. Louis Blues as just the third team in NHL history to reach the Final in its inaugural season.
The Golden Knights also feature some OHL flavour behind the bench as 2017 OHL Coach of the Year Ryan McGill (Owen Sound Attack) and former North Bay Centennials and Windsor Spitfires head coach Mike Kelly serve as assistants alongside Gerard Gallant.
The Capitals got over the hump this year, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games to be crowned Eastern Conference champions behind outstanding efforts from playoff scoring leaders Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin. The Caps feature five OHL graduates in Andre Burakovsky (Erie Otters), John Carlson (London Knights), Devante Smith-Pelly (Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors), Tom Wilson (Plymouth Whalers) and former Mastercard Memorial Cup champion Philipp Grubauer (Belleville/Windsor/Kingston).
Colin Miller found the back of the net in Game 1, leading the Golden Knights to a 6-4 win on home ice Monday night. Wilson scored for Washington while Burakovsky chipped in with an assist.
A total of 91 OHL graduates began the NHL playoff journey to hoist the Stanley Cup back in April.
OHL GRADUATES IN THE 2018 STANLEY CUP FINAL:
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS:
Colin Miller (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, 2010-13)
James Neal (Plymouth Whalers, 2003-07)
Malcolm Subban (Belleville Bulls, 2009-13)
Andre Burakovsky (Erie Otters, 2013-14)
John Carlson (London Knights, 2008-09)
Philipp Grubauer (Belleville/Windsor/Kingston, 2008-11)
Devante Smith-Pelly (Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors, 2008-11)
Tom Wilson (Plymouth Whalers, 2010-13)