The Hershey Bears are one of the most proudest and most well known organizations not just in the AHL level but all across hockey. If you ask someone on the street about Hershey, Pa you will probably hear a lot about the chocolate or the amusement park. Ask a hockey player of any age about Hershey, and they know the Bears and the organization. The Hershey Bears franchise has been around now for 81 years. The Bears just celebrated their 80th season of hockey in 2017-18. Hershey has produced players and coaches like Marek Svatos, Peter Budaj, Dennis Bonvie, Claude Noel, Eric Fehr, Bob Woods, and Bruce Boudreu, Mike Green, Willia Marshall, Frank Mathers, Tim Tookey, Mike Lofthouse, and Ron Hextall just to name a few. Hershey has been a huge epicenter when it comes to creating paths to the NHL to young stars. We are going to look today at the alumni of the Hershey Bears that have made it to the Stanley Cup finals this season for the Washington Capitals and the Vegas Golden Knights
Jay Beagle, Braden Holtby, Dmitry Orlov, and John Carlson played with one another in the 2009-10 or 2010-11 season with the Hershey Bears. All of these players have been key for the Capitals this post-season. From Beagle scoring 5-hole in game one of the Tampa Bay Lightning Series to Braden Holtby’s games six and seven shutouts, these four players have had a significant impact to the teams success. Hopefully there is more to come from this chemistry group for the Caps. They played a combined 221 games in Hershey from 2009-2011. Braden Holtby’s save percentage was 91.9%.
Andre Burakovsky spent a 15 game stint with the Hershey Bears.
In the 2014-15 season, Chandler Stephenson, Tom Wilson, Jakub Vrana, Phillip Grubauer, Travis Boyd, Nathan Walker, and Phoenix Copley all shared time with the Hershey Bears. Within the recent seasons each of these players have earned their recalls to Washington, all of these players are now experiencing what could be a once in a lifetime chance at the Stanley Cup. Combined, the positioned players have a 7.317 shot percentage. Copley and Grubauer had a combined save percentage of 87.5%. To give credit to Grubauer, he had a save percentage alone of 92.1%.
Stephenson, Vrana, Boyd, and Walker were all apart of the 2015-16 team that made a run all the way to the Calder Cup Finals, unfortunately ending in a 4-0 series sweep by the Lake Erie Monsters.
There are also some players on the Las vegas Golden Knights team that has previously spent time with the Hershey Bears at some -oint in their Career. Cody Eakin, Derek Engelland, ad Nate Schmidt are the three players for the Knights that will be competing against their former organization for the Stanley Cup. While in Hershey, these three contributed for 223 shots, and a 5.287 shot percentage.
As you can see the Hershey organization has been a big help over the last several seasons helping to fill positions in the national hockey league, and more importantly big names in this seasons NHL Stanley Cup Finals.
(Caps regulars) Jay Beagle, Andre Burakovsky, John Carlson, Christian Djoos, Braden Holtby, Dmitry Orlov, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Tom Wilson, Phillip Grubauer
(Black aces) Madison Bowey, Travis Boyd, Nathan Walker, Pheonix Copley
(Knights regulars) Cody Eakin, Derek Engelland, Nate Schmidt