Former NAHL Thomas leads Bruins to Cup

Goaltender Tim Thomas, who played in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) for the Lakeland (Mich.) Jets, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player of the playoffs after backstopping the Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup championship over the Vancouver Canucks.

Thomas stopped all 37 shots he faced to lead the Bruins to a 4-0 victory against the Canucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday, giving Boston its first championship in 39 years.

"It still hasn't kicked in, if I'm completely honest," Thomas told NHL.com. "I can't believe it's over. We've had our battle meter up so high for so long, it feels like we're moving onto the next series or something."

After his seasoning in the NAHL, Thomas, from Flint, Mich., embarked on a four-year college career at the University of Vermont (then ECAC) from 1993-97. He's played the last six seasons with the Bruins.

Thomas was the winner of the 2009 Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goaltender and played for Team USA in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Three other NAHL graduates competed in this year's Stanley Cup Finals: Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard (1999-2000), forward Ryan Kesler (2000-02) and goaltender Cory Schneider (2003-04), all of whom played in the NAHL as members of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.

NAHL Alumni in the National Hockey League (NHL)

Players listed active for the 2010-11 season

 

NAHL Alumni in the National Hockey League (NHL)
Craig Anderson Ottawa Senators/Colorado Avalanche Chicago Freeze
Jason Bacashihua Colorado Avalanche Chicago Freeze
Keith Ballard Vancouver Canucks U.S. NTDP
Ben Bishop St. Louis Blues Texas Tornado
David Booth Florida Panthers Compuware Ambassadors/U.S. NTDP
Mike Brown Toronto Maple Leafs U.S. NTDP
Matt Carle Philadelphia Flyers U.S. NTDP
Colby Cohen Colorado Avalanche U.S. NTDP
Ian Cole St. Louis Blues U.S. NTDP
Erik Condra Ottawa Senators Texarkana Bandits
Chris Conner Pittsburgh Penguins Chicago Freeze/Compuware Ambassadors
Joey Crabb Toronto Maple Leafs U.S. NTDP
Stephane Da Costa Ottawa Senators Texas Tornado
Rick DiPietro New York Islanders U.S. NTDP
Jake Dowell Chicago Blackhawks U.S. NTDP
Robbie Earl Minnesota Wild U.S. NTDP
Patrick Eaves Detroit Red Wings U.S. NTDP
Brian Fahey Washington Capitals U.S. NTDP
Nick Foligno Ottawa Senators U.S. NTDP
Cam Fowler Anaheim Ducks U.S. NTDP
Nathan Gerbe Buffalo Sabres U.S. NTDP
Stephen Gionta New Jersey Devils Rochester Jr. Americans/U.S. NTDP
Andy Greene New Jersey Devils Compuware Ambassadors
Matt Greene Los Angeles Kings U.S. NTDP
Ron Hainsey Atlanta Thrashers U.S. NTDP
Adam Hall Tampa Bay Lightning U.S. NTDP
Peter Harrold Los Angeles Kings Cleveland Barons
T.J. Hensick St. Louis Blues U.S. NTDP
Jimmy Howard Detroit Red Wings U.S. NTDP
Matt Hunwick Boston Bruins/Colorado Avalanche U.S. NTDP
Andrew Hutchinson Pittsburgh Penguins U.S. NTDP
Doug Janik Detroit Red Wings U.S. NTDP
Cam Janssen St. Louis Blues St. Louis Sting
Brent Johnson Pittsburgh Penguins Compuware Ambassadors
Erik Johnson Colorado Avalanche/St. Louis Blues U.S. NTDP
Jack Johnson Los Angeles Kings U.S. NTDP
Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks U.S. NTDP
Ray Kaunisto Los Angeles Kings Soo Indians
Ryan Kesler Vancouver Canucks U.S. NTDP
Phil Kessel Toronto Maple Leafs U.S. NTDP
Mike Knuble Washington Capitals Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings
Chad Kolarik New York Rangers U.S. NTDP
Mike Komisarek Toronto Maple Leafs U.S. NTDP
Brett Lebda Toronto Maple Leafs U.S. NTDP
Brian Lee Ottawa Senators Billings Bulls
David Legwand Nashville Predators Compuware Ambassadors
Jordan Leopold Buffalo Sabres U.S. NTDP
John-Michael Liles Colorado Avalanche U.S. NTDP
Trevor Ludwig Dallas Stars Texas Tornado
Peter Mannino Atlanta Thrashers Pittsburgh Forge
Todd Marchant Anaheim Ducks Niagara Scenics
Freddy Meyer Atlanta Thrashers U.S. NTDP
Drew Miller Detroit Red Wings Capital Centre Pride
Ryan Miller Buffalo Sabres Soo Indians
Jamie McBain Carolina Hurricanes U.S. NTDP
Mike McKenna New Jersey Devils Springfield Jr. Blues
Phil McRae St. Louis Blues U.S. NTDP
Al Montoya New York Islanders/Phoenix Coyotes Texas Tornado/U.S. NTDP
Jeremy Morin Chicago Blackhawks U.S. NTDP
David Moss Calgary Flames St. Louis Sting
Matt Moulson New York Islanders Springfield Spirit
Peter Mueller Colorado Avalanche U.S. NTDP
Eric Nystrom Minnesota Wild U.S. NTDP
Jim O'Brien Ottawa Senators U.S. NTDP
Patrick O'Sullivan Carolina Hurricanes/Minnesota Wild U.S. NTDP
Kyle Palmieri Anaheim Ducks U.S. NTDP
George Parros Anaheim Ducks Chicago Freeze
Jordan Pearce Detroit Red Wings U.S. NTDP
Kevin Porter Colorado Avalanche U.S. NTDP
Brian Rafalski Detroit Red Wings Melvindale Blades
Rhett Rakhshani New York Islanders U.S. NTDP
Dylan Reese New York Islanders Texas Tornado/Pittsburgh Forge
Brian Rolston New Jersey Devils Compuware Ambassadors
Michael Rupp Pittsburgh Penguins Cleveland Barons
Cory Schneider Vancouver Canucks U.S. NTDP
John Scott Chicago Blackhawks Chicago Freeze
Dan Sexton Anaheim Ducks Wichita Falls Wildcats
Kevin Shattenkirk St. Louis Blues/Colorado Avalanche U.S. NTDP
Jack Skille Florida Panthers/Chicago Blackhawks U.S. NTDP
Jim Slater Atlanta Thrashers Cleveland Barons
Dave Steckel New Jersey Devils/Washington Capitals U.S. NTDP
Mark Stuart Atlanta Thrashers/Boston Bruins U.S. NTDP
Chris Summers Phoenix Coyotes U.S. NTDP
Ryan Suter Nashville Predators U.S. NTDP
Bill Thomas Florida Panthers Cleveland Barons
Tim Thomas Boston Bruins Lakeland Jets
R.J. Umberger Columbus Blue Jackets U.S. NTDP
James Van Riemsdyk Philadelphia Flyers U.S. NTDP
Thomas Vanek Buffalo Sabres Rochester Jr. Americans
Tim Wallace Pittsburgh Penguins U.S. NTDP
Doug Weight New York Islanders Bloomfield Jets
Ryan Whitney Edmonton Oilers U.S. NTDP
Justin Williams Los Angeles Kings Compuware Ambassadors
Colin Wilson Nashville Predators U.S. NTDP
Brad Winchester Anaheim Ducks/St. Louis Blues U.S. NTDP
James Wisniewski Montreal Canadiens/New York Islanders Compuware Ambassadors