With the NHL getting underway a few days ago, it’s always fun to take a look and see where some former Eagles will be playing this season. Twenty former Boston College players made an opening night roster, and some have already had a strong start to their season. Here’s a quick rundown of who is playing where to start the 2021-2022 NHL season.
Brian Dumoulin - Dumoulin remains an important member of the Penguins defensive core and will likely see big minutes all season. He was second on the team in ice time in their season opening win over Tampa Bay.
Mike Matheson - Matheson is another member of the Pittsburgh blue line, but he was not in the lineup on Tuesday night. He is currently listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury, but he should get plenty of playing time once he is healthy enough to re-enter the lineup.
Brian Boyle - Boyle did not play in the 2020-21 season, but he signed a professional tryout contract and then a full one-year deal with the Penguins just last week. He didn’t take long to make his mark with the team, scoring his first goal of the season in Tuesday’s opening game.
Kevin Hayes - Hayes is hurt to start the season (expected to miss around 10 games) but he’ll be a big part of the Flyers lineup when he returns. He’s in his third year of a long term deal and coming off of a season where he was battling some injuries but still managed to put up 31 points in 55 games.
Cam Atkinson - The Flyers traded for Atkinson in the offseason after he spent the past ten seasons playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Atkinson remains a productive player, but he hasn’t quite been able to get back to the heights of his 41 goal season in 2018-19.
Patrick Brown - The Flyers claimed Brown off of waivers a few days ago, and he figures to be a part of their fourth line to start the season. Brown only has 33 regular season games to his name at this point, but he had a nice playoff run last year, scoring two goals in 12 games with the Vegas Golden Knights
Johnny Gaudreau - Gaudreau remains an electric player and one of the key members of a Calgary team that is looking to bounce back after a down year in 2020-2021. Gaudreau, for his part, had 49 points in 56 games, but he is entering the final year of his contract, which has teams around the league hoping the Flames struggle and make him available in a trade.
Noah Hanifin - Noah Hanifin is somehow entering his seventh professional season (seriously, it feels like he JUST left BC) on a Flames team that has some big questions on the blue line. Hanifin will be one of the players expected to step up after the departure of Mark Giordano and help get the team back into playoff consideration.
Colin White - Colin White recently suffered a shoulder injury and is expected to be out for several months. He scored 10 goals and had 8 points last season.
Zach Sanford - After a few seasons playing with the St. Louis Blues, Sanford was traded to a rebuilding Ottawa team. Sanford had 10 goals and 16 points in 52 games with the Blues in 2020-2021.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Miles Wood - Wood is back for another season with the Devils (his seventh, sixth as a full time player) after a pretty solid showing last year. Wood seems like a good bet for around 25 points every season, making him a solid bottom six player for New Jersey.
Alex Newhook - Newhook jumped right into the lineup with the Avalanche after BC’s season ended last year, skating in six regular season games and another eight in the playoffs. He’ll be with the NHL team from day one this year, as he looks to play a role on one of the preseason Stanley Cup favorites
Matt Boldy - Boldy will miss the first month or so of the season after suffering an ankle injury last week. He was expected to make the Wild’s opening roster and make his NHL debut to start the season.
Thatcher Demko - Demko appears to be the #1 goalie for the Canucks going forward. He went 16-18-0-1 in 35 starts last season with a .915 save percentage and will look to build on that as the Canucks attempt to get back into the playoffs after a down season overall.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Nathan Gerbe - Gerbe is another player currently battling back from a long term injury. He had hip surgery back in September and is expected to miss a few more month before a potential return. Gerbe played in nine games last season, putting up a goal and two assists.
Spencer Knight - This could be an interesting year for Spencer Knight, who made a name for himself in the postseason after a few strong starts. The Panthers still have Sergei Bobrovsky signed to a long term deal in net, but if Knight continues to play well and Bobrovsky struggles the way he has in the past few seasons, things could get very interesting in Florida.
NEW YORK RANGERS
Chris Kreider - Kreider has just been a very solid player for his entire career with the Rangers. Over an 82 game season, you can pretty much pencil him in for somewhere between 45 and 55 points and feel confident whenever he’s on the ice. There’s no reason that should change this season.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Alex Tuch -Tuch had 18 goals and 33 points in 55 games last season, continuing his trend of strong play in his first four full seasons in the NHL. Vegas is expected to be a contender again, and Tuch is expected to continue to play a big role as a part of their offensive core.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Oliver Wahlstrom - Wahlstrom enjoyed a pretty decent season in his first full year in the NHL in 2020-2021, putting up 12 goals and 21 points across 44 games. The Islanders are coming off another deep playoff run and will certainly be among the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference, something that will be made even more possible if Wahlstrom takes a big step forward this season.