'I'll Never Forget It!' Ohio State Buckeyes Alum Dominates Opening Round of 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

A three-point night from Dakota Joshua led the Vancouver Canucks past the Nashville Predators on Sunday.
Apr 21, 2024; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Dakota Joshua (81)
Apr 21, 2024; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Dakota Joshua (81) / Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Dakota Joshua put on a show Sunday night, leading the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-2 victory against the Nashville Predators in the opening round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Joshua, a former forward for the Ohio State Buckeyes, recorded two goals and an assist in the weekend effort. Both goals were notable, as the first put the Canucks ahead for the first time in the contest, and the second (into an empty net) sealed the deal.

"I’ll never forget it," Joshua said. "And it makes you want to keep doing it."

The Buckeyes alum is not one of the first players to come to mind when thinking of the Canucks. At best, Joshua sits fourth in that race behind all-star goaltender Thatcher Demko and forwards Elias Lindholm and J.T. Miller.

Despite his status outside of the spotlight, Joshua's value to the Canucks has been steadily increasing over the last few seasons. Miller even told reporters after Sunday's win that Joshua might not realize how valuable he is to his teammates.

"He’s such a big part of this hockey team and I don't even know if he knows how good he is, man," Miller said. "He's so good at a lot of things and I'm just really happy for him to get rewarded tonight. He played great."

Joshua posted new career highs in assists, goals, and points this season, all while leading his squad with 235 hits over his then-63 games.

The Dearborn, Michigan native was also voted by fans to be the 2023-24 Fred J. Hume Award recipient for the second consecutive year, which is given to the Canucks' "unsung hero." Before Joshua, only four players in the history of the Canucks organization have won that honor in back-to-back seasons.

Joshua and the Canucks will run it back with the Predators in game two of the opening round at 10 p.m. eastern on Tuesday, April 23.

Caleb Spinner