This spring’s version of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has been a long, winding road of unpredictability. That road has stopped at the Stanley Cup final with a No. 6 seed meeting a No. 8 seed, the first time under the current format that a division winner is not among the final two standing.
New Jersey and Los Angeles were equally impressive in their surprising runs to the final. Here is how each team was built over the years…
(Note: Only players who played in at least one playoff game are included)
|How many current players were on the roster in recent seasons?|
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Martin Brodeur… 1st round pick (20th overall) in 1990
Patrik Elias… 2nd round pick (51st overall) in 1994
Mark Fayne… 5th round pick (155th overall) in 2005
Adam Henrique… 3rd round pick (82nd overall) in 2008
Jacob Josefson… 1st round pick (20th overall) in 2009
Adam Larsson… 1st round pick (4th overall) in 2011
Zach Parise… 1st round pick (17th overall) in 2003
Travis Zajac… 1st round pick (20th overall) in 2004
Alexei Ponikarovsky… acquired on 1/20/12 from Carolina for Joe Sova and a fourth-round pick in 2012.
Bryce Salvador… acquired on 2/26/08 from St. Louis for Cam Janssen.
Tim Sestito… acquired on 7/9/09 from Edmonton for a conditional pick.
Marek Zidlicky… acquired on 2/24/12 from Minnesota for Kurtis Foster, Nick Palmieri, Stephane Veilleux, a second-round pick in 2012 and a conditional pick in 2013.
Free agency (11)-
Steve Bernier… signed on 1/30/12
Ryan Carter… claimed off waivers on 10/26/11
David Clarkson… signed on 8/05
Stephen Gionta… signed in 2005
Andy Greene… signed in 2006
Peter Harrold… signed on 8/12/11
Johan Hedberg… signed on 7/1/10
Ilya Kovalchuk… signed on 9/4/10
Petr Sykora… signed on 10/5/11
Anton Volchenkov… signed on 7/1/10
Dainius Zubrus… signed on 7/3/07
Outside of the main core of Brodeur, Parise, Kovalchuk, Elias and Zajac, a good portion of the Devils roster has been pieced together with leftovers from other teams – most of whom were picked up this season. Zidlicky and Ponikarovsky were cheap additions via trade, Carter was claimed off waivers, and Bernier and Sykora were signed during the season. All of those moves barely grabbed headlines at the time, but they are all making respective impacts this postseason.
LOS ANGELES KINGS
Jonathan Bernier… 1st round pick (11th overall) in 2006
Dustin Brown… 1st round pick (13th overall) in 2003
Kyle Clifford… 2nd round pick (35th overall) in 2009
Drew Doughty… 1st round pick (2nd overall) in 2008
Dwight King… 4th round pick (109th overall) in 2007
Anze Kopitar… 1st round pick (11th overall) in 2005
Trevor Lewis… 1st round pick (17th overall) in 2006
Andrei Loktionov… 5th round pick (123rd overall) in 2008
Alec Martinez… 4th round pick (95th overall) in 2007
Jordan Nolan… 7th round pick (186th overall) in 2009
Jonathan Quick… 3rd round pick (72nd overall) in 2005
Slava Voynov… 2nd round pick (32nd overall) in 2008
Jeff Carter… acquired on 2/23/12 from Columbus for Jack Johnson and a first-round pick in 2012.
Colin Fraser… acquired on 6/26/11 from Edmonton for Ryan Smyth.
Matt Greene… acquired on 6/29/08 from Edmonton for Lubomir Visnovsky.
Dustin Penner… acquired on 2/28/11 from Edmonton for Colten Teubert and a first-round pick in 2011.
Mike Richards… acquired on 6/23/11 from Philadelphia for Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a second-round pick in 2012.
Brad Richardson… acquired on 6/21/08 from Colorado for a second-round pick.
Jarret Stoll… see: Greene
Justin Williams… acquired on 3/5/09 from Carolina for Patrick O’Sullivan and a second-round pick.
Free agency (2)-
Willie Mitchell… signed on 8/25/10
Rob Scuderi… signed on 7/2/09
Much of the core of this Kings team has been together in the last couple years, but that wasn’t the case around the lockout. Brown is the only player who was on the team in 2004 and 2006. And before 2008/09 rolled around, only three current Kings were with the team. GM Dean Lombardi pinpointed certain needs/players and started to put together a quality roster in the last few years. When you look at this team on paper, it isn’t your ordinary No. 8 seed.
Photos credit: Getty Images