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Hawks Alumni in the Playoffs

By WBH, 05/11/21, 10:15AM CDT


Seek to Join Eaton, Sanford as Stanley Cup Champions

All 16 slots for the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup playoffs have been filled as of Monday night, and former Waterloo Black Hawks players are on seven of the qualifying teams.

Each of the NHL’s four divisions includes at least one Hawks alumnus on a team now hoping to make a playoff run.  The group features Zach Sanford (St. Louis Blues), who celebrated a 2019 championship and Craig Smith (Boston Bruins), who reached the Stanley Cup Final series as a member of the Nashville Predators in 2017.  Former defenseman Mark Eaton (Pittsburgh Penguins, 2009) and Sanford are the first two Waterloo players to have their names etched on the iconic trophy.

The group seeking to join them this summer includes:


NHL Club

Season(s) in Waterloo

Mark Friedman

Pittsburgh Penguins

2012/13, 2013/14

Jacob MacDonald

Colorado Avalanche

2009/10, 2010/11

Brandon Montour

Florida Panthers

2013/14, 2014/15

Rem Pitlick

Nashville Predators


Patrick Russell

Edmonton Oilers


Zach Sanford

St. Louis Blues


Craig Smith

Boston Bruins

2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09


Sanford, Russell, Montour, and Friedman all won the United States Hockey League’s Anderson Cup together as Black Hawks when Waterloo posted the league’s best regular season record in 2013/14.  Smith also was on an Anderson Cup-winning Hawks club in 2006/07.

At the NHL level this year, Friedman and Montour were each midseason additions to their current teams.  Friedman opened the campaign with the Philadelphia Flyers, while Montour was traded from the Buffalo Sabres to Florida in early April.  The 2020/21 slate was also Smith’s first with Boston after he signed as a free agent last offseason.  

Most NHL teams will complete their regular season schedules this week.  The NHL has confirmed the day and time of only one playoff game at this point: the Bruins will visit the Washington Capitals on Saturday evening in Game One of the series between the clubs.