UND grad Poolman makes Winnipeg opening-night roster
GRAND FORKS – In six years, Tucker Poolman has gone from being cut by some North American Hockey League teams to making an NHL opening-day roster.
The Winnipeg Jets made their final preseason cuts Tuesday, Oct. 3, and when they were done, the East Grand Forks (Minn.) Senior High and University of North Dakota graduate was still standing.
Poolman’s NHL debut may not be imminent — he has been skating on the fourth defensive pair in practice — but it is expected to happen sometime this season.
Winnipeg opens the regular season against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, then goes on a three-game road trip to Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Poolman’s journey to the NHL was a remarkable one.
He had no college scholarship offers after his senior season with the Green Wave, and needed multiple tryouts to find a junior team. But he quickly rose the ladder from the NAHL to the United States Hockey League to UND to the NHL in six years.
Poolman was able to make the opening-day roster despite coming off of double shoulder surgery in the offseason — injuries that forced him to miss UND’s NCAA tournament game against Boston University.
When he eventually makes his debut, he’ll become the 98th former UND player to suit up in the NHL.
Poolman is one of 16 former UND players on opening-day NHL rosters.
The others are Brock Boeser and Troy Stecher with the Vancouver Canucks, Nick Schmaltz and Jonathan Toews with the Chicago Blackhawks, T.J. Oshie and Taylor Chorney with the Washington Capitals, Drew Stafford and Travis Zajac with the New Jersey Devils, Zach Parise with the Minnesota Wild, Drake Caggiula with the Edmonton Oilers, Aaron Dell with the San Jose Sharks, Derek Forbort with the Los Angeles Kings, Tyson Jost with the Colorado Avalanche, Brock Nelson with the New York Islanders and defending Stanley Cup champion Carter Rowney with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Poolman, Jost and Boeser were on last year’s UND team.
on draft list
Four UND commits are on the NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s preseason watch list in advance of the 2018 NHL Draft.
Defenseman Jonny Tychonick, who plays for the Penticton Vees in the British Columbia Hockey League, is listed as a “B” player, which means he’s a potential second- or third-round draft pick.
Forward Braden Costello of Grand Forks, forward Gavin Hain of Grand Rapids, Mich., and defenseman Jacob Bernard Docker of Alberta are all listed as “C” players, which means they are currently projected as fourth-, fifth- or sixth-round picks.
The draft will be June 22-23 in Dallas.