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Wilkie looking forward to new start at Colorado College

UND's Chris Wilkie (18) prepares to fire the puck at the University of Wisconsin goal as Wisconsin's Grant Besse tries to intercept during the first period of Saturday's hockey game at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, ND. Photo by Nick Nelson for the Grand Forks Herald.

For the last seven months, UND forward Chris Wilkie got an up-close view on a special season for brothers Tucker and Colton Poolman, who played on the same hockey team for the first time in their lives.

With opportunities diminishing at UND and hopeful for a fresh start elsewhere, Wilkie decided he will transfer to Colorado College, where he'll have an opportunity to play with his younger brother, Coltan, for the first time in their lives.

Wilkie will enroll at Colorado College this summer, but won't be eligible to play for the Tigers until the fall of 2018. He will have two years of college eligibility left beginning then.

Wilkie's brother will come to campus in 2018 or 2019.

"I think that will be really cool," Wilkie said. "He's four years younger than me, so we've never been on the same team. That's something that factored into my decision as well."

The other factor was dwindling ice time at UND.

After a prolific junior hockey career, Wilkie was in-and-out of the lineup his first two years in college. He had 19 points in 62 career games. He was snakebit for much of the 2016-17 season, scoring one goal at Miami.

"I think a fresh start will be nice," said Wilkie, who grew up in Omaha. "It's something I'm looking forward to. It was a tough decision to leave here, but at the end of the day, the biggest thing was getting a new start and proving myself somewhere else.

"I tried to stay positive and be a good teammate. At the end of the day, nobody likes being in-and-out of the lineup all the time. It was frustrating, but that's how it works sometimes. Not everything always works out how you hope it will."

Wilkie said he will leave UND with fond memories, though, including being a member of the 2016 NCAA national championship team.

"I loved my two years at UND," Wilkie said. "I have a ton of respect for the coaching staff here. They helped me a lot in my two years here and they have been very helpful in this process. I have a lot of memories to look back on and I'm looking forward to coming back here in the future and playing in The Ralph again."

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 12th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.

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