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.