UND will have a familiar name in the lineup in a few years.
Former East Grand Forks Senior High defenseman Tucker Poolman has committed to UND for either 2013 or 2014. Poolman is the son of longtime UND trainer Mark Poolman, a former UND football player.
Poolman, 6-2, 193, is currently playing for the Omaha Lancers in the USHL. He has four points and 24 penalty minutes in 11 games this season.
“He’s been great for us,” Omaha Lancers coach Mike Aikens said. “He’s got good size, has some toughness, has contributed offensively. He’s on our top power-play unit. He does a lot of things really well.
“He’s just scratching the surface of what he’s going to be. He has potential to play for a long time. I think he’s going to develop into a great college player. He has potential to play in the NHL for a bunch of years. With his size, skillset and what type of character player he is, he’s got the total package.”
Poolman played in the NAHL last season. There was a lot of recruiting interest in him to start this season, including some from Maine and Minnesota Duluth.
“He’s a pretty hot item right now,” Aikens said. “He’s a great get for the Sioux. It’s a great story with him growing up there and his dad being on the staff. He’s definitely not just a token guy on the team. He’s a definite, legit prospect.”
Poolman said UND started talking with him in the summer.
“My dad is the trainer up there and I didn’t really like that idea at first,” Poolman said of playing at UND. “But I warmed up to it after talking with the coaches.”
UND will have a lot of local connections soon on the team in Poolman (EGF), Luke Johnson (GF), Paul LaDue (GF) and Keaton Thompson (Devils Lake).
“As a kid, you grow up watching UND and all that stuff,” Poolman said. “I’m really excited.”