Morris: How former Irish hockey players are doing professionally

With the NHL season getting underway final week, all 32 golf equipment have solidified their rosters for the impending 12 months. Among those, there are 26 former Notre Dame players taking a look to make an have an effect on, if it is on the best possible degree or any other skilled league, such because the AHL. Some had been doing it for a decade, some simply signed their first huge, profitable contract and others are simply scratching the outside in their possible. 

Group 1: The Returning Stars

Anders Lee and Kyle Palmieri (NYI), Bryan Rust (PIT) Cal Petersen (LA)

The 4 names above are no doubt the most productive energetic Notre Dame alums within the NHL. Anders Lee is a former 40-goal scorer with 3 different years of a minimum of 28 targets beneath his belt, together with the 2021-22 season. His teammate, Kyle Palmieri, noticed much less luck final season, however has a historical past of excellence with 5 consecutive seasons of 24 targets or extra from 2015-16 to 2019-20. Bryan Rust is arguably the most productive alum from Notre Dame these days, having simply produced 58 issues in 60 video games at the Pittsburgh Penguins first line, along famous person Sidney Crosby. Rust, age 30, just lately signed a six-year contract extension to stick with the Penguins for the remainder of his top. The proper winger already has two Stanley Cup championships beneath his belt and can search for his 3rd this upcoming 12 months. The final big-name Irish alum is goaltender Cal Petersen, who began his Los Angeles Kings profession robust with a .924 save proportion (SVP) in his first 11 NHL video games. He will have to soar again after a down 12 months in 2021-22 to reclaim the crease in LA.

Group 2: The Key Depth Pieces

Anders Bjork, Vinnie Hinostroza and Riley Sheahan (BUF), Jake Evans (MTL) Andrew Peeke (CBJ)

This 2d tier of players is made from 5 ex-Fighting Irish who formally made their staff’s NHL roster however won’t muddle the scoresheet with targets each different night time. Anders Bjork, a fifth-round draft select in 2014, has struggled to search out constant luck on the NHL degree, however will however compete for a task within the backside six at the playoff-hopeful Buffalo Sabres. Vinnie Hinostroza is a lock to play each recreation when wholesome for Buffalo. He has been skating at the staff’s 3rd line all through coaching camp and can open the season there. Riley Sheahan will get started the 12 months at the Injured Reserve (IR), but if he returns, can be crucial intensity middle for a staff whose penalty kill ranked 23rd out of 32 groups final 12 months. Jake Evans may have an expanded function with the lowly Montreal Canadiens this upcoming 12 months, which will have to assist him surpass his present career-high of 29 issues. He will also have the ability to succeed in his general from his senior 12 months at Notre Dame when he scored 46 issues in simply 40 video games. Andrew Peeke may even see an expanded function in 2022-23 at the Columbus Blue Jackets’ blue line. Peeke signed a three-year contract extension with the Jackets on Sept. 28, which kicks in on the conclusion of the 2023 playoffs. Peeke is understood for his defensive prowess, with 191 hits and 169 blocked pictures in 2021-22.

Group 3: The Potential Call-Ups

Steven Fogarty (MIN), Dennis Gilbert (CGY), Robbie Russo (NJ), Alex Steeves (TOR) T.J. Tynan (LA)

Everyone on this workforce has performed more than one NHL video games of their profession one day, however they’re going to all be beginning the 2022-23 marketing campaign on their respective groups’ minor league associate. Steven Fogarty has hung out with the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres throughout his skilled profession after 4 years with Notre Dame (2012-16). He is beneath contract with the Minnesota Wild for 2023. Dennis Gilbert signed with the Calgary Flames this offseason after two a success years within the Colorado Avalanche pipeline. His 21 NHL video games performed in 2019-20 recommend he’s without a doubt a viable possibility for the Flames to summon if they want additional intensity on their again finish. Robbie Russo is likely one of the oldest of the gang at 29 years outdated and has now not performed an NHL recreation since 2016-17. However, he had a productive 12 months with the Utica Comets final 12 months and can resume play with them as soon as once more in 2022-23 regardless of being beneath contract with the New Jersey Devils. Alex Steeves was once a depressing horse to make the Toronto Maple Leafs’ roster this 12 months however failed to take action. He had an outstanding run with the Fighting Irish in 2020-21 with 32 issues in 29 video games, and at simply 22 years outdated, has the entire possible to turn out to be an on a regular basis NHLer quickly. T.J. Tynan ruled the AHL final 12 months with 98 issues in 62 video games, just right for the most productive point-per-game ratio within the league amongst certified skaters. He may provide superb intensity scoring for the Kings in a pinch.

Group 4: The Colorado Avalanche Draft Picks

Cal Burke and Nate Clurman (COL), Cam Morrison (FLA) Jordan Gross (NSH)

The Colorado Avalanche simply received the Stanley Cup, most definitely due to the entire ND alums they constantly draft. The 4 players on this listing are only a few examples of superb scouting at the Avalanche’s phase. Cal Burke spent 4 years at Notre Dame — one because the captain, in 2019-20 — and can glance to construct off his 26-point season for the Colorado Eagles of the AHL. Nate Clurman was once decided on within the 6th around of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and battled to make the Eagles’ roster, however was once despatched right down to the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) to open the season. Cam Morrison is a former 2d around select who donned the fairway and gold from 2016-17 via 2019-20. He is slated to start out the 12 months with the Florida Everblades, the Florida Panthers’ ECHL associate. Jordan Gross led all defensemen in issues within the AHL final season with 65 in 61 video games. He inked a care for the Nashville Predators all through the offseason and can glance to proceed his luck there — and possibly earn an NHL call-up.

Group 5: The AHLers

Cale Morris (CHI), Bobby Nardella (WSH), Mike O’Leary (MIN) Colin Theisen (ARZ)

This workforce is for players who have been instrumental to the Fighting Irish all through their school tenure however will most probably by no means make the largest degree. Even so, AHL players earn six figures and get to play hockey as a role. Cale Morris is a goalie who will goal to win the minor league beginning task for the Chicago Wolves. Bobby Nardella, a former change captain at ND, is a defenseman beneath contract for the Washington Capitals for the impending 12 months. Mike O’Leary spent the final two years within the Rangers’ group prior to signing with the Minnesota Wild this offseason, the place he’ll compete for top-six mins at the Iowa Wild. Colin Theisen has the most productive likelihood to make the NHL out of any person on this workforce, particularly if he can construct off his AHL stat line of eleven issues in 18 video games all through his transient stint in 2021-22.

Group 6: The U23 Prospects

Max Ellis and Graham Slaggert (TOR), Spencer Stastney (NSH)

The final workforce is filled with contemporary departures whose futures are unknown given their early life. Max Ellis, age 22, scored 16 targets in 39 video games for the Irish all through final 12 months’s a success season prior to agreeing to phrases with the Toronto Maple Leafs. This 12 months can be a large one for Ellis, who will glance to take some other bounce ahead in his construction. Graham Slaggert, perfect identified for his time beyond regulation target scored in opposition to North Dakota within the NCAA Tournament, a recreation wherein he had two issues, will play for the Toronto Marlies in 2022-23. Defenseman Spencer Stastney is coming off an excessively cast season at Notre Dame as a two-way participant, outlined by way of his 27 issues and +18 score. He is on target to fit up for the Milwaukee Admirals this 12 months, Nashville’s minor league associate.

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