Big Ten Players in the NHL
The Big Ten Conference continues to show that it is a dominant force in creating quality NHL players. As we are approaching the one month mark in the NHL season, here is an update on the former Big Ten stars who are off to a hot start and collecting milestones along the way.
Eamon McAdam, the only former Penn State Nittany Lion in the NHL, was sent back down to the Toronto Marlies on Oct. 28. Frederik Anderson's day-to-day knee injury allowed McAdam to join NHL club, but he was subsequently reassigned when Anderson's injury healed. McAdam has shown that when he gets the opportunity in net, he can give his team a chance to win. He has posted a 5-2-0 record in nine games so far in 2018.
Michigan's Jack Johnson tallied his first goal since joining the Pittsburgh Penguins this off season. scoring during an onslaught against the Calgary Flames, his goal serves as a reminder that Johnson can be an offensive threat. Hopefully he can find his scoring touch again as one of the best offensive defensemen in the league.
Grizzled veterans Ryan Suter and Duncan Keith achieved career milestones this past week as they played in their 1000th NHL games. Suter, who attended Wisconsin, has been a key player for the Minnesota Wild since signing with the team in 2012. Keith, who attended Michigan State, leads a young defensive corps with the role of mentor as he plays in his 14th season. These two join an elite group of active players who have reached the 1000 career games milestone.
Another milestone is approaching for Blake Wheeler of the Winnipeg Jets; Wheeler currently has 392 career assists and is already the Jets franchise leader with 322 assists. The former Minnesota Golden Gopher has proved that he is worthy of being the captain of his team.
Milestone watch is also on Ryan Dzingel, formerly of Ohio State, as he is going to play in his 200th career game. Drafted in 2011 in the seventh round, Dzingel is off to a consistent season with seven points in nine games so far this year.
Finally, Notre Dame’s Andres Lee is also cruising at a point per game pace this season. Through 11 games, Lee has scored four times with seven assists as he is serving as the captain for the New York Islanders since the departure of John Tavares this offseason. Only 28 years old, he is one of the youngest to wear the “C” this season.
The Big Ten conference is showing the NCAA and the NHL that they can produce
quality players and this trend will definitely continue into the future.
Ryan Simpson is a senior majoring in statistics. To contact him, email at email@example.com.