Poolman adds college degree to NCAA title, All-American honors, NHL contract
Tucker Poolman's three years at UND were plenty busy.
He won two Penrose Cups, an NCAA national championship was named a first-team All-American, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference defensive defenseman of the year and received an NHL contract from the Winnipeg Jets.
Behind the scenes, Poolman was busy adding another title to his resume: college graduate.
Despite only being a full-time student at UND for three years, Poolman will walk across the stage at the Alerus Center on Saturday afternoon, earning his degree in business economics.
Poolman built up some credits before enrolling at UND as a freshman in the fall of 2014, and continued to push toward his degree by taking heavy class loads in the summer.
In the summer after helping UND win the 2016 NCAA national championship, Poolman took 12 credits.
"He had a plan and he completed that plan," UND coach Brad Berry said. "He really put in the work in his three years here, having the mindset to get it done.
"It's one thing to fulfill his dream of signing a pro contract and work toward that, but education is a very big part of his goals and it's important to him and his family. He wanted to make sure that when he signed his pro contract, he had it done. Normally, to get a degree in four years is tough to do. To do it in three says a lot about him."
Poolman is one of 53 student-athletes who will earn their degrees this semester. Other men's hockey players include both of UND's seniors—Gage Ausmus (management) and Matt Hrynkiw (mechanical engineering)—as well as Zane McIntyre (psychology), who left school after his junior year but continued to do classwork from afar.
Hrynkiw will walk at the ceremony. Ausmus won't. He's in San Diego watching Keaton Thompson play in the American Hockey League playoffs with former teammates Luke Johnson, Paul LaDue, Brock Boeser and Johnny Simonson.
McIntyre won't be at the ceremony, as he's anchoring the Providence Bruins in the AHL playoffs.
McIntyre also played in the NHL this season for Boston while working on his degree.
"That says a lot about Zane," Berry said. "He's well on his way to his pro career. I don't think he's that far away from being a regular in the NHL, but he has the mindset of trying to finish."
Berry also was pleased that Tyson Jost and Boeser—who both signed NHL deals and played in the NHL at the end of this season—returned to campus to finish out the school year academically.
"I think that speaks to our culture," Berry said. "They are leaving themselves in position to continue on if they want and to leave the program in good standing as far as the (NCAA's Academic Progress Report)."