St. Edward High School has turned out countless all-scholastic hockey players, many college stars and several professionals, but Mike Rupp certainly raised the bar when he broke into the National Hockey League in 2003.
He played his first NHL game for the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 13, 2003—his 23rd birthday—and scored two goals. Five months later he scored the winning goal in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals as the Devils defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 3-0. It was his first playoff goal. He also assisted on the other two goals. It was heralded as the greatest performance by a rookie in the history of the Stanley Cup.
When he had his “day” with the Cup, Mike and his family chartered a bus to take the massive silver trophy to all their old haunts, including the Honey Hut ice cream stand on State Road where Mike and his wife, Christi, spent many summer nights, and St. Edward High School, where he won his first trophies.
Mike was on the St. Edward state championship teams of 1995 and ’96, and the Eagles’ state runnerup team of 1997.
Mike played 12 seasons in the National Hockey League with New Jersey, Phoenix Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, and the Minnesota Wild. While playing with Pittsburgh, he scored a hat trick against the Rangers in Madison Square Garden.
In 610 NHL games, he scored 54 goals, had 45 assists and 855 penalty minutes.