Winger Nic Aube-Kubel probably felt the lowest of lows when he was placed on waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers in November.
Seven months later, he’s four wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup.
In other words, getting claimed by the Colorado Avalanche was probably the best thing that could have happened to Aube-Kubel’s career.
With the Avs, he has been a bit player, a third- or fourth-line right winger who has supplied energy and physicality on a team filled with stars like Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Cale Makar, Gabe Landeskog, and Nazem Kadri.
In 67 regular-season games, he contributed 11 goals, 22 points, a plus-14 rating, and 123 hits (second on team) while averaging 9:49 of ice time per game.
Superstar numbers, no. But important bottom-six stats for a team that needed some grit. He also reduced the careless penalties that put him in the Flyers’ doghouse.
Colorado, which won the Western Conference title by sweeping Edmonton in four straight games, will face the Tampa Bay-New York Rangers winner in the Stanley Cup Finals.
And maybe, just maybe, a player selected in the second round (48th overall) of the 2014 draft will have his name etched on the Stanley Cup.
Aube-Kubel, who turned 26 last month, was part of then-general manager Ron Hextall’s first draft class. The Flyers took Travis Sanheim (17th overall) in the first round, Aube-Kubel in the second round, Mark Friedman (now with Hextall’s Penguins) in the third round, and Oskar Lindblom in the fifth round.
All told, it was a strong draft for Philly, though they — and many other teams — allowed David Pasternak slip to No. 25 overall. Pastrnak has 240 goals and 504 points in 510 career games with Boston.
The best bargain of that draft?
Brayden Point, who was chosen by Tampa Bay in the third round (No. 79) and turned into one of the NHL’s best centers. Point has missed the Lightning’s last eight games because of an apparent right leg injury.
A look around the league….
- Tampa Bay will try to end the Rangers’ eight-game home winning streak in the playoffs Thursday. The Bolts had a workmanlike 4-1 win Tuesday to even the series at 2-2. Former Flyers farmhand Pat Maroon started the scoring on a goal that ex-Philly center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare helped set up. The story is here.
- The Avs are going to “rethink” the goalie situation. Adrian Dater has the story on Colorado Hockey Now.
- Will Boston move “Pasta?” Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now weighs in on rumors around the high-scoring right winger.
- The Scouting Combine did a series of fitness tests last weekend. In case you missed it, here are the top 10 in each category.