NHL Cup Watch: Carson Soucy has big impact in Seattle's win; Beniers, Schultz adds 2 points apiece for Kraken
Seattle has a number of former college players who have helped the Kraken to a 2-1 series lead over Dallas. Former Michigan star makes NHL playoff debut
Note: With several Big Ten, NCHC and CCHA players, among others, on NHL playoff rosters, The Rink Live will be bringing fans periodic notebooks on these former collegians as we progress toward a Stanley Cup champion.
Former Minnesota Duluth defenseman Carson Soucy played a big role in the Seattle Kraken's 7-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Sunday, May 7, at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle.
Soucy, a 28-year-old from Viking, Alberta, had a big hit on Dallas forward Mason Marchment in the first period and then scored his first career NHL playoff goal at 6:30 of the second period to give the Kraken a 3-0 lead. Soucy's goal came in his 22nd career playoff game.
Playoff goal #1 for Carson Soucy! pic.twitter.com/1o8yv1zNha https://t.co/rL2HWFQqtt— The Rink Live (@TheRinkLive) May 8, 2023
He finished the game with two blocked shots, two shots on goal and was a plus-3 in 16 minutes, 5 seconds of ice time.
WHAT A HIT BY SOUCY ON MARCHMENT 😱 pic.twitter.com/oUbkBIPtms— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) May 8, 2023
In 10 playoff games, Soucy has a goal, an assist, 12 penalty minutes, is a team-leading plus-8 and is averaging 15:00 and 22 shifts a game for Seattle. The Kraken lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.
Soucy, a former fifth-round draft pick of the Minnesota Wild, played for the Bulldogs from 2013-17.
Beniers, Schultz have 2 points apiece
Soucy was not the lone former college player to play a role in the win for Seattle.
Former Michigan center Matty Beniers had a goal, an assist, three shots on goal and was a plus-3 in 14:59 of playing time on Sunday. Beniers was the first player (No. 2 overall) the team selected in its first NHL Draft in 2021.
That's Calder Memorial Trophy finalist Matty Beniers to you. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/MoA4eIHnMk— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 8, 2023
Beniers, a 20-year-old from Hingham, Mass., is one of three finalists for the Calder Trophy, which is given annually to the league's top rookie.
During the regular season, Beniers led NHL rookies in points (57) and plus-minus rating (plus-14), was tied for the league lead in goals with Wyatt Johnston of the Dallas Stars (24) and finished second in assists (33) in 80 games. He had 10 power-play points, 148 shots on goal and four game-winning goals while averaging 17:06 of ice time.
In the playoffs, Beniers has two goals, two assists and is a plus-4 in 10 games and is averaging 18:13 of ice time. Beniers played for the Wolverines from 2020-22.
Former Wisconsin defenseman Justin Schultz added a goal, an assist, two blocked shots, two shots on goal and was a plus-3 in 16:30 of ice time on Sunday for the Kraken. Schultz, a 32-year-old from Kelowna, British Columbia, is second on the team in assists (5), points (8) and plus/minus (plus-7) in 10 playoff games.
Schultz had 34 points, 40 penalty minutes and was a plus-4 in 73 regular season games for Seattle. Schultz played for the Badgers from 2009-12 and was the WCHA Defenseman of the Year each of his last two college seasons. In 77 career NHL playoff games, Schultz has 30 assists, 40 points and is a plus-10.
Luke Hughes makes playoff debut
While his older brother, Jack, may have had a big night offensively for New Jersey, Luke Hughes also played a role in the Devils' 8-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.
Luke, a 19-year-old defenseman from Manchester, N.H., had two assists and a blocked shot in 14:28 of ice time in his first career NHL playoff game.
Luke helped the University of Michigan reach its second straight Frozen Four this spring before signing with the Devils. In 80 career college games, he had 27 goals, 87 points, 36 penalty minutes and was a plus-50.
Luke was selected by New Jersey with the fourth-overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. He had a goal and an assist in two NHL regular season games after signing with the Devils.
Jack, a 21-year-old in his fourth NHL season, had two goals and two assists in Sunday's win. Carolina leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.