NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The National Hockey League opens the 2019-20 season tonight and the University of Notre Dame boasts six former players on NHL rosters (as of Oct. 2) to kick off the 102nd year of league play.
Former Fighting Irish hockey players who are on opening-week rosters include Ian Cole (Colorado Avalanche), Vinnie Hinostroza (Arizona Coyotes), Anders Lee (New York Islanders), Kyle Palmieri (New Jersey Devils), Bryan Rust (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Riley Sheahan (Edmonton Oilers). But unfortunately Cole, Rust and Sheahan will open the season on IR while alum Stephen Johns did not play in the preseason.
Lee eclipsed the 50-point mark for the third consecutive season in 2018-19 while serving as captain for the New York Islanders. Lee led the Islanders with 28 goals while adding 23 assists in 82 contests. After the season, the Edina, Minnesota, native signed a seven-year, $49 million contract to stay in New York. Lee has collected 152 goals and 106 assists in 425 career NHL games.
A 2019 NHL All-Star, Palmieri led the New Jersey Devils with 50 points (27G, 23A) in 74 contests. Palmieri, one of three Notre Dame hockey players to be selected in the first round of the NHL Draft, also led the Devils with 11 power-play goals and 18 points on the man advantage. He has scored 150 goals and added 143 assists in 496 NHL games.
Rust, a two-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins, netted a career-high 18 goals last season while collecting 35 points in 72 games. The reliable, two-way forward also earned +10 rating last season after posting a +11 mark in 2017-18.
Cole is set to embark on his second season with the Colorado Avalanche after posting 15 points (2G, 13A) in 71 games last season. His efforts on the blue line helped the Avalanche return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and advance to the Western Conference Semifinals, where they ultimately fell to the San Jose Sharks in seven games.
Hinostroza is ready for his second season with the Arizona Coyotes after posting career-highs in goals (16), assists (23) and points (39) a season ago. Hinostroza’s 16 tallies were the second-most on the Coyotes last season.
Sheahan heads out west to suit up for the Edmonton Oilers in what will be his ninth NHL season. The forward has produced 149 career points (58G, 91A) in 447 NHL contests.
In total, 35 former Irish players have seen ice time in the NHL, 19 of whom played at Notre Dame under current head coach Jeff Jackson.
While roster moves are still ongoing, here’s a look at where many additional program alums are playing/expected to begin playing professionally across the world in 2019-20:
|Ian Cole||Colorado Avalanche||NHL|
|Vinnie Hinostroza||Phoenix Coyotes||NHL|
|Anders Lee||New York Islanders||NHL|
|Kyle Palmieri||New Jersey Devils||NHL|
|Bryan Rust||Pittsburgh Penguins||NHL|
|Riley Sheahan||Edmonton Oilers||NHL|
|Stephen Johns||Dallas Stars (not listed as active)||NHL|
|Anders Bjork||Providence Bruins||AHL|
|Andrew Peeke||Cleveland Monsters||AHL|
|Andrew Oglevie||Rochester Americans||AHL|
|Cal Petersen||Ontario Reign||AHL|
|T.J. Tynan||Colorado Eagles||AHL|
|Erik Condra||Colorado Eagles||AHL|
|Jake Evans||Laval Rocket||AHL|
|Bobby Nardella||Hershey Bears||AHL|
|Dennis Gilbert||Rockford IceHogs||AHL|
|Thomas DiPauli||Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins||AHL|
|Steven Fogarty||Hartford Wolf Pack||AHL|
|Jordan Gross||Tucson Roadrunners||AHL|
|Robbie Russo||Tucson Roadrunners||AHL|
|Jack Jenkins||Fort Wayne Komets||ECHL|
|Patrick Gaul||South Carolina Stingrays||ECHL|
|Joe Wegwerth||Utah Grizzlies||ECHL|
|Bo Brauer||Worcester Railers||ECHL|
|Luke Ripley||Greenville Swamp Rabbits||ECHL|
|Dylan Malmquist||Nottingham Panthers||EIHL|
|Sam Herr||Nottingham Panthers||EIHL|
|Dan Kissel||VISP EHC||Swiss-Sw|
|Peter Schneider||Biel HC||Swiss-A|
|Mario Lucia||Rungsted Ishockey||Denmark|
|Calle Ridderwall||Duesseldorf EG||DEL|
|Mark Van Guilder||VISP EHC||Swiss-Sw|
Notre Dame takes on the U.S. National Under-18 Team this Sunday (Oct. 6) in Plymouth, Michigan, before opening the 2019-20 campaign with a matchup against Air Force next Friday, Oct. 11 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
Coming off back-to-back Big Ten Tournament championships, the Fighting Irish also carry a four-year NCAA Tournament appearance streak into the 2019-20 season. For tickets, click here.