Tucker Poolman is 1 of 16 former Fighting Hawks on an NHL roster for opening night
Tucker Poolman walked off the ice in Ralph Engelstad Arena's Olympic Rink this summer after a workout. He explained why he was so eager for Winnipeg Jets training camp. "It's kind of a make-or-break year type of feeling," he...
Tucker Poolman walked off the ice in Ralph Engelstad Arena's Olympic Rink this summer after a workout.
He explained why he was so eager for Winnipeg Jets training camp.
"It's kind of a make-or-break year type of feeling," he said.
Well, Poolman made it.
The Winnipeg Jets revealed Tuesday that the East Grand Forks Senior High and UND graduate made the opening-day roster. Although Poolman first cracked the NHL two seasons ago, this is the first time he has made the opening-night roster.
He is one of 16 former UND players on opening-night NHL rosters. Two of them are designated injured: Christian Wolanin of the Ottawa Senators and Derek Forbort of the Los Angeles Kings.
The others are Brock Boeser and Troy Stecher of the Vancouver Canucks, Jonathan Toews and Drake Caggiula of the Chicago Blackhawks, Aaron Dell of the San Jose Sharks, Rocco Grimaldi of the Nashville Predators, Tyson Jost of the Colorado Avalanche, Brock Nelson of the New York Islanders, T.J. Oshie of the Washington Capitals, Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild, Carter Rowney of the Anaheim Ducks, Nick Schmaltz of the Arizona Coyotes and Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils.
Nine other former UND players are on NHL contracts but will start the year in the American Hockey League: Rhett Gardner (Dallas Stars/Texas Stars), Shane Gersich (Washington Capitals/Hershey Bears), Luke Johnson (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild), Paul LaDue (Los Angeles Kings/Ontario Reign), Brad Malone (Edmonton Oilers/Bakersfield Condors), Zane McIntyre (Vancouver Canucks/Utica Comets), Austin Poganski (St. Louis Blues/San Antonio Rampage), Jordan Schmaltz (Toronto Maple Leafs/Toronto Marlies) and Dillon Simpson (Columbus Blue Jackets/Cleveland Monsters).
Two seasons ago, Poolman became the first former East Grand Forks player to play in NHL regular-season and playoff games.
He's expected to have a key role this season on a re-made right side of the defense for Winnipeg.
Grimaldi is entering his sixth professional season. He reached the NHL in all five previous years, but this is the first time he has made an NHL roster out of training camp .
Boeser, who suffered a concussion last week, has been cleared to play in Vancouver's season-opener Wednesday against Edmonton. That game also will feature the return of former UND player Dave Tippett behind the bench. Tippett is the head coach of the Oilers. He last coached in 2016-17 in Phoenix.
Wednesday night will mark Dave Hakstol's first game behind the bench in Toronto, too. Hakstol was named an assistant coach to Mike Babcock in Toronto earlier this summer. Hakstol, who played and coached at UND, previously was the head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Maple Leafs host the Senators in the NHL's first game of the season.
UND alums on opening-night NHL rosters
Brock Boeser (2015-17), Vancouver Canucks
Drake Caggiula (2012-16), Chicago Blackhawks
Aaron Dell (2009-12), San Jose Sharks
Derek Forbort (2010-13), Los Angeles Kings (injured)
Rocco Grimaldi (2011-14), Nashville Predators
Tyson Jost (2016-17), Colorado Avalanche
Brock Nelson (2010-12), New York Islanders
T.J. Oshie (2005-08), Washington Capitals
Zach Parise (2002-04), Minnesota Wild
Tucker Poolman (2014-17), Winnipeg Jets
Carter Rowney (2009-13), Anaheim Ducks
Nick Schmaltz (2014-16), Arizona Coyotes
Troy Stecher (2013-16), Vancouver Canucks
Jonathan Toews (2005-07), Chicago Blackhawks
Christian Wolanin (2015-18), Ottawa Senators (injured)
Travis Zajac (2004-06), New Jersey Devils
NHL contracts, but starting in AHL
Rhett Gardner (2015-19), Dallas Stars/Texas Stars
Shane Gersich (2015-18), Washington Capitals/ Hershey Bears
Luke Johnson (2013-16), Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild
Paul LaDue (2013-16), Los Angeles Kings/Ontario Reign
Brad Malone (2007-11), Edmonton Oilers/Bakersfield Condors
Zane McIntyre (2012-15), Vancouver Canucks/Utica Comets
Austin Poganski (2014-18), St. Louis Blues/San Antonio Rampage
Jordan Schmaltz (2012-15), Toronto Maple Leafs/Toronto Marlies
Dillon Simpson (2010-14), Columbus Blue Jackets/Cleveland Monsters
Cam Johnson (2014-18), Milwaukee Admirals/Florida Everblades
Nick Jones (2017-19), Hartford Wolf Pack
Andrew MacWilliam (2009-13), Rochester Americans
Hayden Shaw (2015-19), Manitoba Moose/Jacksonville IceMen
Trevor Olson (2014-18), Orlando Solar Bears
Michael Parks (2011-15), Kansas City Mavericks
Andrew Kozek (2005-09), Klagenfurt
Jean-Philippe Lamoureux (2004-08), Salzburg
Evan Trupp (2007-11), Dornbirn
Brendan O'Donnell (2011-15), Kladno
Mark MacMillan (2011-15), Herning
Ben Blood (2008-12), Tampere
Joel Janatuinen (2015-19), Turku
Colby Genoway (2002-05), Koln
Mario Lamoureux (2008-12), Dresden
Brad Miller (2005-09), Peiting
Corban Knight (2009-13), Nur-Sultan (KHL)
Ludvig Hoff (2016-19), Stavanger
Wade Murphy (2013-15), Narvik
Mike Cichy (2009-11), Tychy
Clarke Saunders (2012-14), Oswiecim
Chay Genoway (2006-11), Nizhny Novgorod
Matt Frattin (2007-11), Kazan
Rastislav Spirko (2004-06), Zvolen
Taylor Chorney (2005-08), Lugano
Danny Kristo (2009-13), Rapperswil
Drew Stafford (2003-06)
Keaton Thompson (2013-16), currently on tryout with Iowa Wild
Adam Tambellini (2013-14), currently on tryout with Stockton Heat
Brad Schlossman (@SchlossmanGF) can be reached at BSchlossman@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1129.