The 2016/17 National Hockey League season included several milestones for former Waterloo Black Hawks. This week’s draft and other NHL activities could include more once-in-a-lifetime memories. Here are some notable facts and numbers from the year that was and the days ahead:
Year in Review – Notable Numbers
3 consecutive years that a former Black Hawk has appeared in the Stanley Cup Final. Craig Smith skated for the Nashville Predators in 2017. Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks) and J.T. Brown (Tampa Bay Lightning) represented their respective teams in the two prior seasons.
4 Hawks alumni made their NHL debuts during the 2016/17 regular season. The group included Zach Sanford (Washington Capitals), Brandon Montour (Anaheim Ducks), Brock Boeser (Vancouver Canucks), and Ian McCoshen (Florida Panthers). Boeser scored in his first NHL game on March 25th against the Minnesota Wild. This volume of debuts is a high-water mark for Waterloo.
5 former Hawks dressed during the NHL playoffs: Smith, Montour, Pavelski, Sanford (with the St. Louis Blues), and Vinnie Hinostroza (Chicago Blackhawks).
8 Hawks played in at least one NHL regular season game during 2016/17. Those players noted above set a new record, surpassing the six former Hawks who took the ice during the 2013/14 campaign.
137 points were recorded by former Waterloo skaters during the NHL regular season. Add another three goals and seven assists in the playoffs.
806 career regular season appearances by Pavelski rank second among Waterloo alumni behind only Jason Blake (871 games). The Sharks’ captain was selected during the seventh round of the 2003 NHL Draft.
Now Appearing in Vegas
The NHL will welcome its 31st member in 2017/18. During an expansion draft on Wednesday evening, the Las Vegas Golden Knights will choose one player from each of the NHL’s other 30 clubs. Both Craig Smith and J.T. Brown are draftable, based on protected lists submitted by teams over the weekend. The only former Black Hawk to appear with an NHL club during that team’s expansion season was Bill Bennett with the Hartford Whalers in 1979/80.
Draft Preview – Notable Numbers
18 different NHL teams have drafted at least one Black Hawk since 2010, led by the Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, and New York Islanders (three each).
4 Hawks have been selected in the first or second round since 2013. All of them – McCoshen, Sanford, Montour, and Boeser – made their NHL debuts this winter.
3 players on this season’s NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings appeared in at least three-quarters of Waterloo’s 2016/17 regular season games: Shane Bowers, Mikey Anderson, and Nick Swaney.
2 Waterloo players have been first round selections: Boeser in 2015 and Peter Ferraro in 1992 (New York Rangers). Bowers is a candidate to join the group. The first round of the NHL Draft will be Friday. Rounds Two through Seven will be conducted on Saturday.