Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Strapping blue-liner Poolman a long-term project

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Those in a rush should pay no attention to defenceman Tucker Poolman, the Winnipeg Jets' fifth-round draft pick of 2013.

The East Grand Forks, Minn., native has already passed his 21st birthday and he's about to begin his NCAA hockey career this fall at the University of North Dakota.

As the rules go and if he were to play his entire college eligibility, no decision by the Jets would be needed on Poolman until 2018.

Whatever the pace of things, the 6-3 defenceman is more than excited to get his college hockey career started in his home community.

"I've always been close to the program and since my dad's worked in the program (his father Mark is UND's strength and conditioning coach), I've had a unique look as far as that goes," Poolman said Monday on the first day of the Jets' development camp. "I'm just really excited."

UND is eager for Poolman's freshman year, too, handing the blue-liner the No. 3 jersey after the 2013-14 season him named the USA Hockey's junior player of the year after a 15-goal, 41-point season for the USHL's Omaha Lancers.

"Honestly, it was great teammates and great coaches," he said. "We had a lot of talent on our team. I think six guys off my team got drafted this year. The coaches worked with me and let me do what I wanted within the guidelines. I had some freedom that way and it worked out."

 

-- There are several missing prospects from this week's camp.

Draft picks Andrew Copp (fourth round, 2013), Brennan Serville (third round, 2011), Tanner Lane (sixth round, 2010) and Jack Glover (third round, 2014) are not in Winnipeg. All are U.S. college players.

"I think they were planning on coming and then all of a sudden we were notified of some rules and some teams, and it wasn't only us... things change, and players that were in attendance-based classes, they were unable to get out of them," Roy said. "Things like that happen."

It's possible Glover might be able to attend later in the week.

Also missing is defenceman Josh Morrissey, the team's first-round draft pick of 2013. Morrissey played 112 games in 2013-14 and has been excused for the week.

Two other prospects, centre Adam Lowry and winger J.C. Lipon are at camp this week but won't be on the ice after they played deep into June for the St. John's IceCaps in the league's championship series.

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 8, 2014 C2

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