The AJHL named its top 50 players of all-time on Sunday night and seven former UND players are on the list.
Two of them are from the most recent decade — Matt Frattin and Corban Knight.
Other UND members on the list are Gary Valk, Dixon Ward, Troy Murray, Perry Berezan and Rick Zaparniuk. Five of the seven of the UND players to make the list have played in the NHL. Only Zaparniuk and Knight have not — and Knight’s probably not far away.
Frattin and Knight, both Hobey Baker Award finalists at UND, played in the AJHL during the 2004-13 era. Valk and Ward are from the 1984-93 era. Murray and Berezan were from the 1974-83 era. Zaparniuk played in the AJHL in the late 1970s.
The former Hobey Bakey finalist from UND was traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday along with former Cornell goalie Ben Scrivens. The Leafs received goaltender Jonathan Bernier.
Frattin has played part of three seasons with the Leafs, tallying 15 goals in 82 games. The Edmonton native has one year left on his contract and is scheduled to be paid $950,000. It is a one-way deal.
The Kings had ample opportunity to watch Frattin play during his college years as Frattin was teammates with Brett Hextall for three years. Brett’s father, Ron, is the assistant general manager of the Kings.
It was also believed that former Leafs GM Brian Burke was unwilling to part with Frattin in trade talks. Now that Burke is gone, Frattin has been moved.
In Los Angeles, Frattin will become a teammate with former UND defenseman and captain Matt Greene. Frattin’s old UND teammate, Derek Forbort, also is a member of the Kings’ organization.
Matt Frattin got sent down to start the season and missed the first three games. He has played in the last three with the Leafs and is already the team’s leading goal scorer and is one point shy of leading the team in overall scoring.
He got there thanks to his two-goal performance Tuesday night, which included his overtime winner with less than two seconds remaining. The video is below.
Matt Frattin scored his AHL playoff-leading 10th goal to clinch the Toronto Marlies’ series victory over Oklahoma City in the semifinals.
But that goal will cost him the next four months.
Frattin suffered a season-ending knee injury that will force him to have surgery. Damien Cox of the Toronto Star reported that the surgery is expected to keep Frattin out for the next four months, which means he will miss training camp.
The Calder Cup Finals between Toronto and the Norfolk Admirals will begin Friday night.
Frattin played most of the season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring eight goals and 15 points in 56 games for the Leafs. General manager Brian Burke moved Frattin and Jake Gardiner back to the AHL for the playoff run at the end of the season.
Frattin is a restricted free agent this summer. Look for the Leafs to lock him up, as Burke is a big fan.
Former Sioux standout Matt Frattin scored his first NHL goal tonight for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 7-1 victory over the Washington Capitals.
Former Denver forward Joe Colborne fed Frattin, who was flying up the right wing. Frattin snapped a shot top shelf on the stick side of Tomas Vokoun.
Interestingly enough, Dillon Simpson’s dad, Craig, was calling the game for CBC and immediately dropped a North Dakota Fighting Sioux reference and talked about how it was a vintage Frattin goal. He would know.
Hobey Baker finalist Matt Frattin has made the Toronto Maple Leafs and will play on either the first or second line Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens. The Leafs made their final cuts on Monday.
Also of note, former Sioux captain Chris Porter has made the St. Louis Blues out of camp after playing 45 games with the Blues last season.
Former Sioux standout Ryan Johnson will be looking for a spot to catch on. The Detroit Red Wings released him at the end of training camp.
We now know where almost all of the members of last season’s Sioux team will start this season.
The Winnipeg Jets sent Jason Gregoire to St. John’s on Sunday.
The Colorado Avalanche sent Brad Malone to Lake Erie (Cleveland) on Sunday (look out Ohio, this means both Malone and Evan Trupp are going to be invading your state).
And all signs are pointing to Matt Frattin being on the opening-day roster of the Toronto Maple Leafs. There was speculation that he was battling Nazem Kadri for the final spot (or that both could make it). Kadri now is injured and the Leafs are saying that Frattin is “NHL ready.”
Earlier last week, the Minnesota Wild assigned Chay Genoway to Houston and the Phoenix Coyotes assigned Brett Hextall to Portland.
With Brent Davidson in Sweden, Trupp under contract with ECHL Cincinnati and Derrick LaPoint under contract with ECHL Reading (Pa.), the last player’s destination to be determined is Jake Marto.
Marto is on a two-way contract with St. John’s (AHL) and Colorado (ECHL) in Winnipeg’s organization.
Several other Sioux are in NHL camps right now without a contract for the season (to my knowledge), including Ryan Johnson, David Toews, Joe Finley and Corey Fienhage.
Despite being sent down to start the year, keep an eye on transactions throughout the year. There’s a good chance that Gregoire, Malone and Genoway could make it to the show by the end of the season.