Columbus Blue Jackets Alumni Littered Throughout Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche Organization

By Dan Dukart on June 27, 2022 at 10:15 am
Former Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson shoots the puck
David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche are your 2021-22 Stanley Cup champions, marking the franchise's third championship and first in 21 years.

The Columbus Blue Jackets organization was well-represented on the Avalanche, with former players, coaches, and executives winning the Stanley Cup for the first time in each of their respective career's. Here's a brief look at each of them:


Jack Johnson

Johnson, 35, thought his playing days were behind him. In September, the Avalanche extended the veteran a professional tryout (PTO), more or less an invitation to training camp but with no promises. Not only did Johnson make the team, he played a key role in the Avalanche run towards a championship. After second-pairing defenseman Samuel Girard went down with a season-ending injury, it was Johnson that was elevated into the lineup. He skated in 13 playoff contests in a third-pairing role. In 74 regular-season games, he posted 1-8-9.

Ryan Murray

The Avalanche brought Murray, 28, in as an insurance policy, signing him to a one-year, $2M contract last offseason. But they never filed their claim, and Murray was an extra player throughout the championship run. He played 37 games in the regular season, posting 0-4-4. He may have been the next-man-up in case of injury or poor play.

Stefan Matteau

Matteau, 28, played just one regular-season game with the Avalanche after spending two seasons in the Columbus organization. The journeyman has now played in 92 regular-season NHL games with five different NHL clubs. 

Kiefer Sherwood

Sherwood, a Central Ohio native, was primarily an AHL player this year, and a good one at that. In 57 games with the Colorado Eagles, he tallied 36-39-75. The 27-year-old played 11 regular-season games with the Avalanche, adding 1-1-2, but did not participate in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 


Jared Bednar

Bednar paid his dues in the minor leagues before earning his shot at the NHL level. He joined the AHL Springfield Falcons, then the Blue Jackets' top affiliate, in 2012-13 as an Assistant Coach. The Head Coach on that team? Brad Larsen. And when Larsen was promoted to NHL Assistant Coach in Columbus in 2014-15, Bednar became the head coach in Springfield. In 2015-16, Springfield became the Lake Erie (now Cleveland) Monsters, and Bednar led the team to a Calder Cup championship.

Many current Blue Jackets players were pivotal players on that Monsters team, including Oliver Bjorkstrand, Joonas Korpisalo, and Zach Werenski (who joined during the Calder Cup run). He was hired by Colorado as Head Coach almost immediately after winning the Calder Cup, and the rest is history.

Nolan Pratt

Pratt won a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 2001, and after his playing days were over, joined the Springfield Falcons as an Assistant Coach. He's been with Bednar basically ever since, following him to Colorado to be an Assistant Coach. He spent 2011-2016 with the Blue Jackets AHL affiliate. Players from the 2011 Falcons team include Cam Atkinson, Matt Calvert, and David Savard.

Chris MacFarland

MacFarland has long been regarded as one of the top minds in the industry and is a likely candidate to become a GM in the not-so-distant future. An Assistant GM with Colorado, he works closely with GM/Executive VP Joe Sakic on contracts, roster construction, scouting, etc. Prior to that, he was a member of the Blue Jackets' hockey operations department for 16 years, working in a similar role in Columbus. 

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