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Notre Dame in NHL: 10 Former Irish Players Make 2021 Opening-Night Rosters

The Irish will have two players on the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders to open up the 2021-22 NHL season.

Notre Dame Hockey
Photo: Notre Dame athletics

Notre Dame will have 10 former Irish players on opening-night rosters for the 2021-22 NHL season, including two on the New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres.

Here’s a look at the former Irish players on NHL rosters:

Anders Bjork and Vinnie Hinostroza (Sabres)

Bjork and Hinostroza are teammates once again after the latter signed as a free agent with the Sabres. The duo played together for the Irish during the 2014-15 season.

Bjork scored six points (three goals, three assists) in 15 games with Buffalo after he was acquired from the Boston Bruins. Hinostroza scored 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 17 games for the Chicago Blackhawks last season.

Ian Cole (Carolina Hurricanes)

Cole is on his third team in less than two seasons after signing with the Hurricanes. The defenseman played two games last season for the Colorado Avalanche, who traded him to the Minnesota Wild. The two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins scored eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 52 games and no points in seven playoff appearances for the Wild.

Jake Evans (Montreal Canadiens)

Evans is back with the Canadiens after a breakout season, scoring 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 47 games. He added one goal and two points in seven playoff contests. The former Irish captain is looking to further cement himself in the Canadiens’ lineup.

Riley Sheahan (Seattle Kraken)

Sheahan will be the first Notre Dame alum to play for the Kraken. He signed with the expansion team after scoring 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 53 games for the Sabres. Seattle will be his sixth NHL stop following the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh, Florida Panthers, Edmonton Oilers, and Buffalo.

Bryan Rust (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Rust returns to the Penguins after his second straight 20-goal plus season. He had 22 goals and 42 points, his second-best marks of his career, in 56 games. The two-time Cup champion added two goals and three points in six playoff games.

Anders Lee and Kyle Palmieri (Islanders)

Lee is back from injury and ready for his fourth season as Islanders captain. He scored 12 goals and 19 points in 27 games before suffering a season-ending injury.

Lee will be joined by Palmieri, who re-signed with New York after being acquired at the trade deadline from the New Jersey Devils. Palmieri was slow to start with two goals and four points in 17 regular-season games, but came alive in the playoffs with seven goals and nine points in 19 postseason games.

Andrew Peeke (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Peeke made the Blue Jackets after splitting time the past two seasons between the AHL and NHL. The defenseman had three assists in 11 NHL games and four assists in seven AHL games last season.

Cal Petersen (Los Angeles Kings)

Petersen is back between the pipes full-time for a second straight season. The former Irish captain had a 2.89 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in 35 games in 2021. He posted a 1.29 GAA and .953 save percentage in seven games for Team USA at the World Championship.

Petersen will share the net again with two-time Cup champion Jonathan Quick.

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Brandon is a contributor for On Tap Sports Net covering the Chicago Blackhawks, Rockford IceHogs and Chicago Steel. He also covers the Blackhawks as an independent correspondent for Follow Brandon on Twitter @brandonmcain.

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