The NHL Playoffs have reached the conference finals and there are still two former Wisconsin Badgers skating for the Stanley Cup. Defending champion Ryan McDonagh and the Tampa Bay Lightning will do battle with the New York Islanders while Cole Caufield and the Cinderella Montreal Canadiens face off with the Vegas Golden Knights.
- McDonagh didn’t record a point in Tampa’s 4-1 series victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, but did play a bunch of minutes and ended up a plus one over the five games. As he’s gotten older, McDonagh doesn’t jump into the offense as much but he’s still a steady blueliner that gets the job done.
- Caufield, who is a rookie by the way, had three assists in Montreal’s four game sweep of the Winnipeg Jets. He is having one of the finest years any college hockey player could have. It’s truly a shame that the Badgers crashed out of the NCAA Tournament so early.
Cole Caufield’s resume in 2021:— Raine Hernandez (@BringerOfRaine) June 8, 2021
- WJC gold medal
- Big Ten Championship
- Hobey Baker Award
- Trip to the third round of the NHL Playoffs as a 20-year-old
Is that good?pic.twitter.com/GMdwnSs9IH
Caufield had the series winning assist to Tyler Toffoli, which you can see above, and Toffli said after the game that he had trouble finding the player who dished him the puck, “he’s just a little guy, I couldn’t find him out there.”
First Badger to win the Jim Johannson College Player of the Year— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerMHockey) June 11, 2021
From one Badger to another
Congrats @colecaufield!! pic.twitter.com/LY84ZCoqZY
Caufield was also named the Jim Johannson Award winner this past week. The award recognizes the accomplishments of the top American-born player in NCAA Division I men’s college hockey. In 2019, the award was renamed to honor the late Johannson, who was a USA Hockey executive for two decades and a college hockey player for the University of Wisconsin.