As the 2015-2016 National Hockey League season gets rolling this week, there will surely be some new faces on every roster, and four of those faces are former Spokane Chiefs. Overall, the Western Hockey League has produced 146 players that are now currently on NHL rosters.
Forward Tyler Johnson, who played for the Chiefs from 2007-2011 (and probably doesn't like Jimmy Kimmel very much), will again be strapping on his skates for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2015. Fellow forward Michael Grabner, who played for the Chiefs from 2004-2007, will be playing for Toronto Maple Leafs. The Chiefs have also sent two defensemen on to the NHL this year, with Jared Spurgeon playing for the Minnesota Wild and Jared Cowen skating for the Ottawa Senators. Spurgeon played for the Chiefs from 2005-2010, while Cowen was a Chief from 2006-2010.
The Vancouver Canucks lead the NHL in WHL graduates with nine on their current roster, while the Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs each boast seven former WHL players on their 2015-2016 rosters.
The Spokane Chiefs are 3-2 on their season and play Friday night in Portland against the Winterhawks. The next Chiefs home game is Friday, Oct. 16 at 7:05 pm against the Prince Albert Raiders.