A total of three players from Big Ten schools will skate for the National Hockey League's ultimate prize when the Stanley Cup Final opens on Wednesday night in Los Angeles. New York Rangers teammates Carl Hagelin (Michigan), Ryan McDonagh (Wisconsin) and Derek Stepan (Wisconsin) will face the Los Angeles Kings with each player looking to hoist the Stanley Cup for the first time in their career.
Hagelin, McDonagh and Stepan each have made significant impacts to help the Rangers reach the Stanley Cup Final. McDonagh and Stepan are tied for the team points lead with 13 apiece while Hagelin is tied for the team lead in goals with six. McDonagh has logged more ice time than any New York skater, averaging more than 25 minutes per game.
In all, 35 players from Big Ten schools have won the Stanley Cup a total of 49 times. With 12 different players whose names have been inscribed on the Stanley Cup, Wisconsin leads all schools across the nation. Minnesota is fourth with eight different players that have won the Cup, followed by Michigan and Michigan State in a tie for fifth place with seven different NHL champions. Wisconsin holds the national lead with a total of 17 Stanley Cup wins among its alums while Michigan is tied for third with 13 total NHL crowns.
Wisconsin's last player to win the Stanley Cup was Davis Drewiske, who did so with Los Angeles in 2012. Michigan is aiming for its first NHL champion since 2010, when former Wolverine John Madden and former Badger Adam Burish helped lead the Chicago Blackhawks to the title. Michigan State and Minnesota boasts the most recent players with their names on the Stanley Cup, with former Spartan Duncan Keith and former Gopher Nick Leddy teaming up on Chicago's 2013 championship-winning squad.