BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – July 30, 2020 – Fourteen alumni of current Western Collegiate Hockey Association teams are on National Hockey League rosters as the NHL prepares to drop the puck on the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs Saturday, Aug. 1 in Toronto, Ont. and Edmonton, Alta.
Five league schools – Bemidji State, Bowling Green, Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech and Minnesota State – will see a pair of alumni take the ice this weekend while Alabama Huntsville, Alaska, Alaska Anchorage and Ferris State will each have one former player in action.
The group features a trio of recent Stanley Cup winners in Alaska’s Coton Parayko (St. Louis- 2019), Alaska Anchorage’s Jay Beagle (Washington- 2018) and Michigan Tech’s Pheonix Copley (Washington- 2018). Parayko and Copley remain with the Blues and Capitals, respectively, while Beagle is now with the Vancouver Canucks.
Nine players will be playing for Western Conference teams at the NHL “bubble” in Edmonton – Parayko, Beagle, Cam Talbot (Alabama Huntsville/Calgary), Buddy Robinson (Lake Superior State/Calgary), Brad Hunt (Bemidji State/Minnesota), Gerald Mayhew (Ferris State/Minnesota), Zach Whitecloud (Bemidji State/Vegas), Ryan Carpenter (Bowling Green/Chicago) and Jujhar Khaira (Michigan Tech/Edmonton).
Five WCHA alumni will be in action at the Eastern Conference “bubble” in Toronto – Copley, Mark Friedman (Bowling Green/Philadelphia), Tyler Pitlick (Minnesota State/Philadelphia), Kevin Czuczman (Lake Superior State/Pittsburgh) and Teddy Blueger (Minnesota State/Pittsburgh).
WCHA Alumni in the NHL Playoffs
Name School NHL Team
Cam Talbot Alabama Huntsville Calgary
Colton Parayko Alaska St. Louis
Jay Beagle Alaska Anchorage Vancouver
Brad Hunt Bemidji State Minnesota
Zach Whitecloud Bemidji State Vegas
Ryan Carpenter Bowling Green Chicago
Mark Friedman Bowling Green Philadelphia
Gerald Mayhew Ferris State Minnesota
Buddy Robinson Lake Superior State Calgary
Kevin Czuczman Lake Superior State Pittsburgh
Jujhar Khaira Michigan Tech Edmonton
Pheonix Copley Michigan Tech Washington
Tyler Pitlick Minnesota State Philadelphia
Teddy Blueger Minnesota State Pittsburgh
Since the WCHA’s founding in 1951, 56 league players or coaches have been members of Stanley Cup-winning teams.
Former Denver forward and NHL Hall of Famer Glenn Anderson and former Denver head coach Ralph Backstrom have seen their names etched on the Cup more times than any other WCHA alum. Anderson won six Cups with Edmonton (1984-85-87-88-90) and the New York Rangers (1994) during his 16-year NHL career. Backstrom won six Cups as a player with Montreal (1959-60-65-66—67-69) before going on to coach the Pioneers from 1981-90.
About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Men’s League
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association, among the most historic, tradition-rich and successful conferences in all of collegiate athletics, will mark its 69th season of men’s competition in 2020-21. The 10-team NCAA Division I conference consists of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Chargers), the University of Alaska Anchorage (Seawolves), the University of Alaska (Nanooks), Bemidji State University (Beavers), Bowling Green State University (Falcons), Ferris State University (Bulldogs), Lake Superior State University (Lakers), Michigan Technological University (Huskies), Minnesota State University (Mavericks) and Northern Michigan University (Wildcats). For more information, visit wcha.com.