COLUMBUS, Ohio Five former Buckeyes are on playoff rosters for the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs R.J. Umberger (Columbus), Ryan Kesler (Vancouver), David Steckel (Washington), Tyson Strachan (St. Louis) and Rod Pelley (New Jersey).
R.J. Umberger (2001-03) will suit up for the Columbus Blue Jackets in the team’s first playoff appearance in club history when the squad takes on the Detroit Red Wings. Umberger, the first Buckeye to play for the CBJ, played in all 82 games for the Jackets in 2008-09, scoring 26 goals and adding 20 assists for 46 points. Umberger has played in 310 NHL games in his career, for the Flyers and Blue Jackets, with 75 goals, 87 assists and 162 points. He skated in 22 playoff games with the Flyers over two seasons, compiling 11 goals and 16 assists.
Ryan Kesler (2003) and the Vancouver Canucks will take on Tyson Strachan’s St. Louis Blues in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Kesler played in all 82 games for the Canucks in 2008-09, serving as an alternate captain, and had 26 goals, 33 assists and 59 points. He has played in 320 NHL games, all for the Canucks, and has a 65-75-140 line. Kesler has just one NHL playoff game under his belt, skating for the Canucks in 2006-07.
David Steckel (2001-04) and the Washington Capitals will face off against the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. In his second full year in the NHL Steckel played in 76 games, with eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points. He saw action in seven playoff games a year ago with the Caps, with a goal and assist.
Strachan (2004-07), a defenseman, is in his first season in the NHL and played in 30 games for the Blues in 2008-09, with three assists and a +8 mark.
Rod Pelley (2003-06) was called up by the New Jersey Devils prior to their playoff series against the Carolina Hurricanes. He did not play in the NHL this season but has 67 NHL games to his credit, with a 2-4-6 line.
Sean Collins (2004-07) played 15 games for the Caps in 2008-09 and had two points on a goal and assist, with a +1 mark. He is not on the team’s playoff roster.
Nate Guenin (2003-06) played in one NHL game with the Philadelphia Flyers this season. He has played in 12 NHL games over three seasons, with two assists.
Corey Elkins signed a contract with the Los Angeles Kings following the conclusion of the Buckeyes’ season, but did not skate in a regular-season game for the Kings, who did not qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs.