COLUMBUS, Ohio – All around the world from Vancouver to Denmark, former Buckeye men’s hockey players spent the 2009-10 season in professional leagues including the NHL, AHL, ECHL, CHL and European leagues.
Seven Buckeyes saw ice time in the NHL. As an alternate captain, former All-American R.J. Umberger played in his second season with Ohio State’s NHL neighbors, the Columbus Blue Jackets, posting 23 goals and 32 assists for 55 points in 82 games. Despite the Blue Jackets missing the playoffs, Umberger ended the season strong, with a six-game point scoring streak (2-5-7) at the end of March.
Washington’s David Steckel played in 79 regular season games, contributing five goals and 11 assists for 16 points to help the Capitals capture the President’s Trophy -the best record in the NHL. Steckel finished the season ranked second in the league and first on Washington in faceoff win percentage (59.2 percent ), his third straight season among the top seven centers in the league. Steckel signed a three-year contract extension with the Capitals in January.
Canucks’ alternate captain Ryan Kesler finished his sixth season in Vancouver with 25 goals and a career-high 50 assists and 75 points, including 12 power-play goals and five game-winners. Kesler had one goal and nine assists in the Canucks’ Western Conference finals run and signed a six-year contract extension, through the 2015-16 season, in March. Kesler also won a silver medal in the Winter Olympics with Team U.S.A. and earned his second consecutive nomination for the NHL’s Selke Trophy given to the best defensive player in the league.
Rod Pelley recorded two goals and eight assists for 10 points in 63 games in his third season with the New Jersey Devils. Tyson Strachan played in eight games with the St. Louis Blues, posting two assists and a plus-three rating. Corey Elkins, in his first year as a professional, scored a goal in his second NHL game and played three games in his NHL debut with the Los Angeles Kings. And Nate Guenin appeared in two games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and was later traded to the Blues, playing with Strachan on their AHL team in Peoria.
Sean Collins and Johann Kroll were members of the 2010 Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears. The title was Collins’ second consecutive championship with Hershey. Losing to the Bears in the AHL Finals was Mathieu Beaudoin’s Texas Stars. Beaudoin posted seven points in the postseason.
Hunter Bishop and Zac Dalpe both turned pro after the Ohio State season ended, signing with Montreal and Carolina, respectively. Bishop scored a goal in his fifth game with Hamilton in the AHL on his way to recording two goals and three assists for five points in nine regular season games. Bishop notched one assist in Hamilton’s playoff run before the Bulldogs lost to eventual Calder Cup runner-up Texas. Dalpe recorded his first goal in his third game and a hat trick in his fourth game with Albany in the AHL, posting eight six goals and eight points in nine regular season games. Dalpe also scored three goals and tallied six points in the playoffs before Albany lost to the eventual Calder Cup champions, Hershey.
See the PDF above for a complete list of former Buckeyes and their 2009-10 teams and statistics. Statistics courtesy hockeydb.com.
Click the photo gallery above for photos from many of the Buckeyes in the pros during 2009-10.