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More former UND players ink pro deals as the Fighting Hawks near 50 contracts for 2022-23

Defenseman Keaton Thompson of Devils Lake is headed to Milwaukee in the American Hockey League this season.

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San Jose Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell (30) makes a save against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

GRAND FORKS — Rocco Grimaldi is working out in Ralph Engelstad Arena, waiting to learn where he will play this upcoming season.

Grimaldi is an unrestricted free agent after spending the last four seasons with the Nashville Predators organization. He spent most of last season in the American Hockey League, where he was dominant for the Milwaukee Admirals.

While some are still searching for their next destination, nearly 50 former UND players have already signed for the 2022-23 season.

The contract count is currently at 48.

The newest additions are Aaron Dell to the San Jose Sharks, Christian Wolanin to the Vancouver Canucks, Colton Poolman to the Calgary Flames, Cole Smith to the Predators, Keaton Thompson to the Admirals (AHL), Cam Johnson to the Charlotte Checkers (AHL) and Andrew MacWilliam to Salzburg (Austria).

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A few of them will be rejoining with old UND teammates.

Wolanin will play alongside Brock Boeser as he did in the 2016 NCAA national championship game. MacWilliam will play with Chay Genoway in Austria. They were teammates for two seasons in Grand Forks.

Brad Elliott Schlossman module image

Hi everyone. Here are some more articles about former UND players.

The former Thief River Falls and UND standout inked a one-year deal after a strong 2021-22 season.
Stecher will re-unite with Nick Schmaltz in Arizona. Stecher and Schmaltz won an NCAA national title together at UND.

UND figures to easily eclipse the 50-contract mark once again. There are still several unsigned players, including Ben Blood, Shane Gersich, Grimaldi, Casey Johnson, Luke Johnson, Jordan Kawaguchi, Jackson Keane, Paul LaDue, Westin Michaud, Wade Murphy, Andrew Peski, Carter Rowney, Jordan Schmaltz and Hayden Shaw.

UND currently has players signed to play in 15 different countries — the U.S., Canada, Northern Ireland, Poland, Scotland, Sweden, Italy, Austria, Norway, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Germany, France and Hungary.

Is Toews' time with Chicago running short?

Jonathan Toews led the Chicago Blackhawks to three Stanley Cups and has been the team's captain since 2008.

But his incredible run appears to be headed into its final year.

Toews has one year left on his eight-year, $84-million contract. But with the Blackhawks entering a major rebuilding project, the former UND center seems unlikely to remain with Chicago beyond this season.

Toews told The Athletic this week that general manager Kyle Davidson estimated the rebuilding project would take five years and Toews said sticking around for that "doesn't sound appealing to me at all."

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Toews is 34 years old and has played in more than 1,000 NHL games — all for the Blackhawks.

UND in the pros 2022-23

As of July 28, 2022
NHL (27)
Collin Adams, New York Islanders
Jacob Bernard-Docker, Ottawa Senators
Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks
Drake Caggiula, Pittsburgh Penguins
Aaron Dell, San Jose Sharks
Derek Forbort, Boston Bruins
Rhett Gardner, Dallas Stars
Tyson Jost, Minnesota Wild
Matt Kiersted, Florida Panthers
Brad Malone, Edmonton Oilers
Zane McIntyre, Minnesota Wild
Grant Mismash, Tampa Bay Lightning
Brock Nelson, New York Islanders
T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals
Zach Parise, New York Islanders
Shane Pinto, Ottawa Senators
Austin Poganski, Seattle Kraken
Colton Poolman, Calgary Flames
Tucker Poolman, Vancouver Canucks
Jake Sanderson, Ottawa Senators
Adam Scheel, Dallas Stars
Nick Schmaltz, Arizona Coyotes
Cole Smith, Nashville Predators
Troy Stecher, Arizona Coyotes
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Jasper Weatherby, San Jose Sharks
Christian Wolanin, Vancouver Canucks

AHL (5)
Connor Ford, Henderson Silver Knights
Cam Johnson, Charlotte Checkers
Nick Jones, Manitoba Moose
Dillon Simpson, Cleveland Monsters
Keaton Thompson, Milwaukee Admirals

Europe (16)
Gabe Bast, Belfast (Northern Ireland)
Mike Cichy, Oswiecim (Poland)
Zach Driscoll, Glasgow (Scotland)
Harrison Feeney, Bollnas (Sweden)
Matt Frattin, Bolzano (Italy)
Chay Genoway, Salzburg (Austria)
Ludvig Hoff, Stavanger (Norway)
Joel Janatuinen, Hameenlinna (Finland)
Corban Knight, Omsk (Russia)
Danny Kristo, Michalovce (Slovakia)
Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, Villach (Austria)
Andrew MacWilliam, Salzburg (Austria)
Brendan O’Donnell, Dusseldorf (Germany)
Clarke Saunders, Anglet (France)
Rastislav Spirko, Debrecen (Hungary)
Adam Tambellini, Angelholm (Sweden)

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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