It’s a stretch to say that the start of the Stanley Cup Finals is a “homecoming” for Willie Mitchell, who was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 1996. Mitchell only played 18 games for the Devils, and the home games were played in the Meadowlands arena, not the current Prudential Center, but Mitchell does retain fond memories of his time in the New Jersey organization, from 1998 until he was traded to Minnesota in 2001. Mitchell left Clarkson University in 1998 and split the next two seasons playing for the Devils and their AHL affiliate, the Albany River Rats. Today, Mitchell spoke with affection about New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello and current assistant coach Larry Robinson, who was an assistant coach and later head coach when Mitchell played for the Devils.

MITCHELL: “It should be fun. Marty (Brodeur) was there when I just came in. I wasn’t there long. In ‘99, I broke my hand in training camp and went to the minors. I played a couple games at the end of that year, then the next year I was actually there for the banner going up for the Stanley Cup. The home opener, me and Turner Stevenson were the two new guys on the team. So I was there to watch the banner go to the roof at the Meadowlands. Me and Turner Stevenson were kind of sitting off the pile, because we didn’t do anything (the previous year). We were the only two new guys on the team. I remember watching that and thinking how cool it was and just learning what it took to win, and here I am, hopefully learning from those great experiences I had with them and having an opportunity to get a kick at it against them. So, it will be fun.’’

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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