skip navigation
Former Minot Minotauros and NAHL forward Blake Lizotte, who was the NAHL Rookie of the Year during the 2014-15 season, made the Opening Night roster of the Los Angeles Kings.

NAHL Alumni on NHL Opening Night Rosters Remains Steady

By NAHL, 10/16/19, 4:30PM EDT


NAHL alumni on the big stage

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

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

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