Pro hockey across North America kicked off this week, with the NHL season beginning on Wednesday and its minor league, AHL starting on Friday. As the hockey season is officially underway, 29 MI-HS alums begin the year on NHL teams and their respective minor league affiliates.
Seven alums have reached hockey’s biggest stage, all of which are NHL veterans with at least two seasons under their belts.
Defenseman Andy Greene (Trenton, 2001) is the oldest of the bunch, as the 34-year-old enters his 12th season with the New Jersey Devils. Counter that with Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck (Walled Lake Northern, 2011), who is just 24 years old and coming off of a season in which he played 56 games for the Jets.
For a fifth straight season, the Detroit Red Wings have not one, but two MI-HS alums that have become mainstays in the team’s top-12 forwards. Assistant captain and 2004 Mr. Hockey, Justin Abdelkader (Muskegon Mona Shores, 2005) is just five points shy of his 200th in the NHL. Luke Glendening (East Grand Rapids, 2007) expects to play in his 300th NHL game later this month, as he’s missed just nine games in the last three seasons.
25-year-old Tanner Kero (Hancock, 2010) has played the fewest games in the show, 64 games during portions of the previous two seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. This season is the first that Kero has been on the Hawks’ opening-night roster.
Jeff Petry (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 2006) and Greg Pateryn (Brother Rice, 2007) were teammates a year ago for the Montreal Canadiens. While Petry remains as one of the more experienced defensemen for the Habs, Pateryn looks to make his mark on a new team after being traded to the Dallas Stars last season.
In addition to this group, there are 11 more alums from the AHL as well as 11 in the ECHL, for a total of 29 former MI-HS players active in pro hockey in North America. For a complete list, check out our Alumni Page to see where these and many others are furthering their hockey careers.