A year ago, Jakub Voracek was chasing the President’s Cup with the Halifax Mooseheads. This spring, he is chasing the Stanley Cup as a rookie with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The 19-year-old right-winger is one of a handful of names familiar to Halifax hockey fans in the NHL playoffs. The Blue Jackets, making their first playoff appearance in their eight-season existence, are facing the defending champion Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference quarter-finals.
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Voracek, who recently placed fourth in voting for the Mooseheads’ all-time fan favourite, placed 10th in rookie scoring with nine goals and 29 assists for 37 points in 80 games.
He is expected to see ice time on one of Columbus’ top lines.
Here is a look at some other names chasing the Stanley Cup.
SIDNEY CROSBY, C, Pittsburgh (vs. Philadelphia): The Cole Harbour native is a little more than a familiar name, but he’ll renew a rivalry with the Flyers in the Eastern quarter-finals after the third 100-point campaign of his career.
J.S. GIGUERE, G, Anaheim (vs. San Jose). Even though the former Mooseheads star won the Conn Smythe in 2003 and a Stanley Cup in 2007, he might not be the Ducks’ starter. Jonas Hiller’s numbers are superior in equal time.
MILAN JURCINA, D, Washington (vs. NYR). After the prolific 31-goal, 73-point Mike Green, Jurcina is the Capitals’ most productive defenceman with 14 points. The former Moosehead averages 15-plus minutes per game.
JODY SHELLEY, LW, San Jose (vs. Anaheim). The former Mooseheads captain and Yarmouth native will provide toughness in an all-California clash. He had two goals and 116 penalty minutes in 70 games in a depth role.
ALEX TANGUAY, LW, Montreal (vs. Boston). If the Habs are to upset the Bruins, Tanguay and linemates Saku Koivu and Alexei Kovalev will need to shine. The former Mooseheads star had 41 points in an injury-shortened 50-game season.
OTHER NOTABLES: Former Cape Breton Screaming Eagles D Adam Pardy, Calgary (vs. Chicago); Port Hawkesbury D Aaron Johnson, Chicago (vs. Calgary); New Glasgow D Colin White, New Jersey (vs. Carolina); former Cole Harbour resident and C Sean Avery, NYR (vs. Washington).