Watkins makes NHL debut

Former Sioux forward Matt Watkins made his NHL debut on Tuesday night for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Watkins is the 15th former Sioux player to play in the NHL this season.

Watkins, originally a 5th-round draft pick of the Dallas Stars, played 6:37 against the Los Angeles Kings. He didn’t register any shots and was a minus-1.

A total of 10 players from UND’s 2005-06 team have played in the NHL, including six from that year’s rookie class (Jonathan Toews, T.J. Oshie, Brian Lee, Taylor Chorney and Joe Finley).

While at UND, Watkins was one of the most popular players among his teammates. His skating ability and two-way, gritty play made him an effective player in many situations. He’s being asked to play the same role for the Coyotes, who are coached by another former Sioux player in Dave Tippett.

8 thoughts on “Watkins makes NHL debut

      • Some committed when Blais was head coach, some when Hakstol was head coach. I do know that all three of UND’s current coaches do a ton of recruiting/scouting. Other coaches have told me that very few head coaches are on the road recruiting/scouting as much as Hakstol.

  1. It doesn’t matter who recruited who becasue they all use the same tactics.
    1. We have a facility that cost 100 million and hockey’s our number one sport.
    2. Sign on the line.

    • Sorry, I wasn’t thinking! Please delete my previous comment. Everyone knows recruiting is much more than just having the best hockey facility in the NCAA. It’s the commitment to go after the best players available and convince them that the educational experience and the athletic experience offered by the UND is second to none. No staff has done it as consistently as the current coaching staff.

      • No I changed my mind I was right the first time. The Ralph is what brings in the top talent you see every year. There is nothing more important than our hockey arena. How many first round picks have come before the Ralph and how many have come since the Ralph.

        How many guys sign their letters after they see the Ralph for the first time. Frattin I know of for sure.

        • I agree with myself. The REA is a very strong attraction. It certainly doesn’t suck to have a facility like the REA. I don’t argue the fact that the athletic/academic program offered by Coach Hakstol is what makes a player want to commit to playing in the best rink in the NCAA. 1500 players in the NCAA, DI, hockey programs. Too bad they all can’t play for Coach Hakstol and enjoy the experience at UND in the REA. Congratulations to the select few who make the commitment.

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