Former ‘91 East Coast Selects forward Ryan O’Reilly helped the St. Louis Blues capture their first Stanley Cup in history, defeating the Boston Bruins in Game 7 on Wednesday night. The championship marks a seventh consecutive year in which a Selects player has won the Stanley Cup and the first time that multiple alumni aided in the championship run.
O’Reilly was named MVP of the NHL Playoffs, being awarded the Conn Smythe trophy after he scored 23 points in 26 games, including five goals and nine points in the Final. He became the first player since Wayne Gretzky in 1985 to score a goal in four consecutive Cup Final games and the first person to receive the award in his first season with a team.
Backup goaltender Jake Allen (‘90 East Coast Selects) served an integral role during the team’s regular season, appearing in 46 games with a 19-17-8 record, .905 save percentage and 2.83 goals-against average along with three shutouts.
Both Robby Fabbri ( ‘96 East Coast Selects-O) and rookie Robert Thomas (‘99 East Coast Selects-O) were in and out of the lineup during the Cup Final largely due to injuries. Thomas played in Games 1 and 5, scoring one goal and six points during the Blues’ playoff run after appearing in 70 regular-season games during his first season in the NHL. Fabbri was inserted into the lineup for Games 2 and 3 when Thomas went down with an undisclosed injury. The 23-year-old centerman scored 16 points in 30 regular-season games.
The 2019 Blues mark the first time that multiple alumni were represented on the championship-winning team. According to NHL requirements, a player must appear in 41 regular-season games OR one Stanley Cup Final game to be eligible to get their names etched on the Cup. All four alumni meet that criteria and should those requirements hold true, the foursome’s names will join the likes of Alex Chiasson (‘91 East Coast Selects), Bryan Rust (‘92 East Coast Selects), Brandon Saad (‘92 East Coast Selects) and Tyler Toffoli (‘92 East Coast Selects) on hockey’s Holy Grail.
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