Who from Nodak Nation is going to be playing in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs? At first look, it doesn’t appear there will be a lot of former UND hockey players playing for Lord Stanley’s Cup. More on that later.
During the University of North Dakota Hockey team’s historic 77-year history, 110 former players have played at least one hockey game in the National Hockey League. On March 30, 2023, defenseman Tyler Kleven became the most recent former UND hockey player to make his NHL debut with the Ottawa Senators. In his first time out, Kleven logged 17:33 minutes of ice time and recorded an assist.
Currently, the Senators have four former UND hockey players on their roster, Jake Sanderson, Jacob Bernard-Docker, Shane Pinto, and Kleven. Unfortunately, the Senators are six points out of a playoff spot and are going to miss the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Some of the writers on the Sentors beat have referred to the team as #NodakSens. At one time, there were five UND hockey players that had been drafted by the Senators. However, former UND defenseman Jonny Tychonick who was originally drafted 48th overall by the Senators in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, recently signed a professional contract with the Toronto Marlies. With that said, I can’t recall a team that had four players from the same college team on an NHL roster.
THE #NODAKSENS HAVE OFFICIALLY RE-UNITED.
— SENS TALK (@senstalk_) March 31, 2023
UND in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs
The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin on April 17, 2023. Who’s your favorite team to win Lord Stanley’s Cup? The Presidents Trophy-winning Boston Bruins are looking pretty good after they won their 60th game of the season Sunday afternoon. Will they win the Cup, or will they stumble and fall short of winning it all?
Looking at the current NHL standings, there will not be a lot of former UND hockey players in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Here’s a list of the following former University of North Dakota Hockey players who will likely participate in the 2023 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
New York Islanders
The New York Islanders have two former UND hockey players on their roster. Currently, the Islanders occupy the first Wild Card Position with 87 points.
Brock Nelson, 77 games scoring 32g-37—69pts, plus-10. In 2022-23, Nelson had a career-high in points. Nelson has played in 753 NHL games over 10 seasons scoring (237g-219a—456pts), he’s a plus-nine.
Zach Parise, 77 games scoring 21g-11a—32pts, plus-eight. For the 11th time in his 18-season NHL career, Parise has reached the 20-goal plateau. Recently, Parise surpassed the 1200-game threshold; he’s played in 1219 games scoring (429g-448a—877pts) he’s also an impressive plus-84. He’s scored 256 of his 429 goals on the power play.
Derek Forbort, 54 games, 5g-7a—12pts, plus-12. Forbort is currently injured and out for the remainder of the season. He is supposed to return for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Forbort is known for his shot-blocking and penalty-killing prowess. During the 2022-23 season, he scored a career-high five goals. In nine NHL seasons, Forbort has played in 461 games scoring (17g-74a—91pts), he’s also a plus-91.
The Florida Panthers currently sit outside the final Wild Card spot in the NHL Standings. They are one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Panthers have five regular season games remaining to solidify their spot in the playoffs.
If the Panthers were to secure the final spot, one former UND hockey player Matt Kiersted would be a long shot to play in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Kiersted has played in 20 games for the Panthers scoring (1g-3a—4pts) but he hasn’t played in a game with the Panthers since December 23, 2022. On January 11, 2023, he was reassigned to Charlotte of the American Hockey League. Prior to being reassigned, he was a healthy scratch in the last seven games before being sent down. In his 20 games, he averaged 9:51 minutes of ice time.
The Calgary Flames are fighting for a spot in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Currently, they’re two points out of the final wild-card spot with five games remaining. Four out of their five remaining games are against teams that aren’t currently going to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They also have a game with the Winnipeg Jets who currently sit in the final Wild Card spot.
Former UND defenseman Troy Stecher was traded to the Calgary Flames on March 3, 2023. Since joining the Flames, Stecher has played in 15 games, scoring (2g-4a—6pts), he’s also a minus-three. Stecher has played in 434 NHL games scoring (17g-85a—102 pts), he’s also a minus-30.