COLUMBUS, Ohio Three former Ohio State men’s hockey players are in action in the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. Dave Steckel (2001-04) and his Washington Capitals are taking on R.J. Umberger (2001-03) and the Philadelphia Flyers in a first-round series. Rod Pelley (2002-05) is on the New Jersey Devils’ playoff roster in their series vs. the New York Rangers.
Steckel scored a goal last Friday in his first playoff game as the Caps downed the Flyers, 5-4. During the regular season, he played in 67 games for Washington, record five goals, seven assists and 12 points. Steckel has seen action in 79 career NHL games.
Umberger scored in the Flyers’ 2-0 win over the Caps Sunday as Philadelphia tied the series at one game apiece. Umberger played in 74 games this season, posting 50 points, including 37 assists. He has played in 228 NHL games, all with Philadelphia, recording 49 goals, 67 assists and 67 points.
Pelley has not seen action for the Devils yet this postseason, as they trail in the series with the Rangers, 2-1. He last played for the NHL team in four-consecutive games March 15-22. He played in 58 regular-season games this season and had two goals and six points. Pelley has played in 67 career games at the NHL level.
Former Buckeye Ryan Kesler (2003) also played in the NHL this season, skating in 80 games for the Vancouver Canucks, who did not qualify for the playoffs. He had 21 goals and 37 points in 2007-08 and has a 39-42-81 line in 238 NHL games.
Nate Guenin, a Buckeye from 2002-05, also is a member of the Flyers organization. He was recalled by the NHL club April 10, but was returned to the Philadelphia Phantoms in the American Hockey League the next day. Guenin skated in two NHL games in 2007-08 and has played in 11 games at the NHL level in his career, posting two assists.
Ohio State was one of 19 schools to have five or more former student-athletes in the NHL during 2007-08 and tied for fourth in the CCHA in current NHL players.