Image by Purbalite staff
Seniors who are hockey fans have seen some big developments in the NHL during their years at Baldwin.
In the 2016 NHL Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Auston Matthews with the first overall pick. Matthews has emerged as a top 10 scorer in the league and has been a big piece in the turnaround of the Leafs, who had been a league bottom-feeder for a decade.
In 2017 and 2019, the New Jersey Devils held the first pick in the draft. In 2017, they selected Nico Hischier, a dynamic, play-making center, and in 2019 they selected Jack Hughes. Both players have helped bring the Devils new life, and they will impact the franchise for a long time.
However, other teams have not been as fortunate. The Buffalo Sabres, for one, drafted Rasmus Dahlin, a Swedish defenseman. Dahlin has improved the Sabres’ defensive corps tremendously since entering the league, but the Sabres have still failed to make the playoffs. Even with Jack Eichel on board, the Sabres have not made the playoffs since 2011.
The NHL has also seen exciting Stanley Cup championships. The Pittsburgh Penguins won back-to-back championships in 2016 and 2017, the first time a team has won consecutive titles in the NHL’s salary cap era.
Other teams have won their franchise’s first Stanley Cups. The Washington Capitals won the franchise’s first championship in 2018, and the St. Louis Blues continued the trend, winning their first in 2019.
Some franchises are on the upswing as well. The Philadelphia Flyers, for one, have not been competitive since reaching the Finals in 2010, when they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Flyers are currently sitting on top of the Metropolitan Division standings, led by Claude Giroux and their young phenom goalie, Carter Hart.
The NHL is the first league to announce the resumption of play since the COVID-19 pandemic. This could help the league gain popularity across North America and can lead to higher TV ratings and a larger profit in the years to come.