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Jonathan Toews becomes sixth UND player to hit 1,000 NHL games

The captain of the Chicago Blackhawks reached the milestone Thursday night against the Florida Panthers.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Florida Panthers
Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) skates on the ice prior to the game against the Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena on March 31, 2022. It marked Toews' 1,000th regular-season NHL game.
Jasen Vinlove / USA TODAY Sports

SUNRISE, Fla. — Jonathan Toews reached a milestone Thursday night.

The former UND star played in his 1,000th-career NHL regular-season game for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Toews became just the sixth former UND player to reach 1,000 NHL regular-season games. The others are James Patrick (1,280), Craig Ludwig (1,256), Zach Parise (1,125), Travis Zajac (1,037) and Dave Christian (1,009).

"It's special," said Toews, who is in his 15th NHL season. "I'm very grateful to make it to this point. Mostly, I just kind of want to share that appreciation with my teammates."

Chicago lost the game 4-0 to the Florida Panthers.


"It was a special game, win or lose," Toews said. "I've really grown pretty close with these guys in this room. I think when you go through challenges and you have a season where there are a lot of ups and downs — maybe you don't make the playoffs — it's tough to stick together. I think this has done nothing but that. I'm definitely very appreciative to have been able to reach that mark with this group right now."

Although the milestone game came on the road for the Blackhawks, the Florida fans gave Toews an ovation for reaching 1,000 games.

"I don't expect anything and I wasn't looking for that at all," Toews said. "It's just a special personal accomplishment where you want to basically tell all of your teammates and everyone who has been a part of it how thankful you are for their support."

Blackhawks coach Derek King said he enjoyed the recognition for Toews.

"It would have been nice if we pulled out a win for him or if he got a goal or something like that, but that's a hell of an accomplishment for anybody to get up to 1,000 games," King said. "So, good for him. We're happy for him."

Toews came to UND in 2005 with a star-studded recruiting class that also included Hobey Baker Award winner Ryan Duncan and NHLers T.J. Oshie, Taylor Chorney, Brian Lee, Joe Finley and Matt Watkins.

Toews played two seasons at UND, helping the program to back-to-back trips to the NCAA Frozen Four. He signed with the Blackhawks in 2007, soon after his 19th birthday.

The Winnipeg native has spent his entire pro career with the Blackhawks, captaining the franchise to three Stanley Cups. He also has two Olympic gold medals.


Toews has played 57 games this season, tallying 10 goals and 29 points. He is a free agent at the end of next season.

UND and Wisconsin are tied with the most 1,000-game NHLers.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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