The 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs get underway with five game ones tonight and three more tomorrow. Former Stampede players Nate Prosser (2003–06), T.J. Oshie (2004–05) and Chad Ruhwedel (2008–10) are set to skate with their respective teams in an opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup. None have reached the Stanley Cup finals in their NHL careers.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins, Wednesday, April 12 - 7:00 p.m. CT
Chad Ruhwedel signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins in July 2016 after spending four seasons up-and-down in the Buffalo Sabres system. The San Diego, California native has had a decent showing for the reigning Stanley Cup champions, putting up 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) in 34 games. Although Ruhwedel will be making his NHL playoff debut, he is no stranger to postseason action, as he made seven playoff appearances for the Herd between the 2009 and 2010 Clark Cup playoffs.
St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild, Wednesday, April 12 - 8:30 p.m. CT
Nate Prosser signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Wild in March 2010. He has had what some would say an up-and-down career for the team, accumulating 38 points (7 goals, 31 assists) in 252 games. He has made 17 playoff appearances to date but only one assist to show for it. He does provide a veteran presence in the locker, sitting at thirty years old. However, the Wild have made the playoff the previous four seasons and are returning 12 players from their conference quarter-finals knockout in 2013.
The Elk River, Minnesota native skated for the Stampede through the 2003–06 seasons before attending Colorado College in the fall of 2006.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals, Thursday, April 13 - 6:00 p.m. CT
The Washington Capitals are no doubt the team to beat after clinching the President's Trophy on March 28 –– awarded to the team with the most points in the regular season. T.J. Oshie has been a big part of their dominance this season, as he leads the team in goals with 33. Oshie was traded to the Capitals from the St. Louis Blues in 2014, a team he spent 7 years with. He spent 11 games with the Herd during 2004–05 season before playing with the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks.
Only two former Stampede players have hoisted Lord Stanley's Cup: Chad LaRose (2006) and Alex Goligoski (2010).