Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League is proud to recognize nine WHL Alumni as members of the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals.
With a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday in Game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final, the Capitals laid claim to the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Former Saskatoon Blades goaltender Braden Holtby (Lloydminster, Alta.) was essential in Thursday’s victory for the Capitals as he had been since the start of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, stopping 28 of 31 shots in the contest. In 23 appearances, Holtby went 16-7 with a 2.16 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and two shutouts.
Former Prince George Cougars captain Brett Connolly had the primary assist on the Cup-winning goal.
WHL Alumni being crowned Stanley Cup champions include players Chandler Stephenson (Regina Pats / Saskatoon, Sask.), Madison Bowey (Kelowna Rockets / Winnipeg, Man.), Connolly, and Holtby, as well as Assistant Coaches Blaine Forsythe (Calgary Hitmen / Calgary, Alta.) and Lane Lambert (Prince George Cougars / Melfort, Sask.), Assistant General Manager Ross Mahoney (Regina Pats / Saskatoon, Sask.), Head Coach Barry Trotz (Regina Pats / Winnipeg, Man.), and Professional Development Coach Olaf Kolzig (Tri-City Americans / Johannesburg, RSA).
WHL Alumni suiting up for the Capitals enjoyed great success throughout the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Apart from Holtby’s heroic performance in net, Connolly led all WHL Alumni on the Capitals with nine points (6G-3A) in 24 appearances, while Stephenson also contributed seven points (2G-5A) in 24 outings. The Stanley Cup victory will also be the first for Trotz in his illustrious NHL coaching career.
While nine WHL Alumni are immortalized as Stanley Cup champions, the Stanley Cup finalist Vegas Golden Knights boast 12 WHL Alumni, including players Cody Eakin (Swift Current Broncos / Winnipeg, Man.), Ryan Reaves (Brandon Wheat Kings / Winnipeg, Man.), Deryk Engelland (Moose Jaw Warriors / Edmonton, Alta.), Brayden McNabb (Kootenay ICE / Davidson, Sask.), Luca Sbisa (Lethbridge Hurricanes / Ozieri, Italy), Clayton Stoner (Tri-City Americans / Port McNeil, B.C.), and Shea Theodore (Seattle Thunderbirds / Langley, B.C.), as well as Senior Vice President Murray Craven (Medicine Hat Tigers / Medicine Hat, Alta.), Assistant Coaches Ryan Craig (Brandon Wheat Kings / Abbotsford, B.C.), Mike Kelly (Brandon Wheat Kings / Oakville, Ont.), and Ryan McGill (Kootenay ICE / Sherwood Park, Alta.) and Executive Vice President and Assistant General Manager Kelly McCrimmon (Brandon Wheat Kings / Plenty, Sask.).
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.