St. Louis Blues loaded with London connections

There’s no shortage of hockey stardom in the London area, and that’s been on full display during the Stanley Cup final.

Whether they grew up in the area or suited up for the Knights, there are several players with London connections vying for hockey’s biggest prize.

A majority of those connections are tied to the St. Louis Blues, who will need to win Game 7 in Boston to secure the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup.

Robert Thomas, the youngest player in the final, has already won two OHL championships and a Memorial Cup during his career. Thomas is also the first player ever to play in the Stanley Cup final one year after winning an OHL title.

Patrick Maroon is another notable former London Knight. The St. Louis native joined his hometown team in the offseason. Maroon played just one season with the Knights, scoring 35 goals and 90 points during the 2007-08 campaign.

You will have to dig a little deeper to find a London connection in the Bruins dressing room. Jake DeBrusk, the son of former Knight Louie DeBrusk, is in his second season with the Bruins and has 11 points this post-season.

As far as people who grew up in the area, there’s no shortage of them, either.

Ryan O’Reilly, who grew up in Huron County and went to elementary school in Seaforth, has been one of the biggest storylines for the Blues this post-season, leading the team in scoring with 21 points.

Behind the Blues’ bench, London native Mike Van Ryn is in his first year as an assistant coach, after previously coaching in the American Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League. Van Ryn played with the Blues and also suited up for the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs during his NHL career.

Knights fans will remember the name Tim Taylor, who tallied 226 points in two and a half seasons in London. He is now the Blues’ director of player development.

Doug Armstrong, who grew in in Sarnia, is the Blues’ general manager and president of hockey operations. Former Sting assistant coach Jeff Barratt is a Bruins scout.

Michael Del Zotto joined the Knights midway through the 2008-09 season. He hasn’t played a game yet this postseason after previously playing in Vancouver and Anaheim earlier this year.

It’s the first cup final to need all seven games since 2011, when the Boston Bruins beat the Canucks in Vancouver.

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