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Ottawa Senators use first- and second-round picks on future UND defensemen

Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion ran into UND coach Brad Berry on Saturday afternoon in American Airlines Center in Dallas.

The encounter came after the Senators used first- and second-round draft picks to select UND’s top two incoming recruits.

First, Ottawa drafted defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker at No. 26 overall in the first round on Friday night.

Then, the Senators came back Saturday morning and picked defenseman Jonny Tychonick at No. 48 overall.

What did Dorion have to say to Berry?

“He said one of the things that pushed them over the top (on drafting Bernard-Docker and Tychonick) was the way we develop players,” Berry said. “With Christian Wolanin coming here, developing in three years and then going to Ottawa, they felt comfortable with drafting those two players this year.”

The paths of Bernard-Docker and Tychonick have crossed throughout the years, and according to scouts, they perfectly complement each other with their styles of play.

They’ve been defensive partners in the past and probably will again in the future as they shoot with opposite hands.

“JBD is a good, two-way defenseman,” Berry said. “He’s very good defensively and has very good offensive abilities as well. Jonny is a guy who brings high-end offensive ability. He’s very fast, quick getting pucks and moving pucks, and he likes to join the rush. He brings more of an offensive flair to the game.”

Tychonick and Bernard-Docker first played together on spring hockey teams at age 10 or 11. Although they played in different leagues this season -- Tychonick with the Penticton Vees in the British Columbia Hockey League and Bernard-Docker with the Okotoks Oilers in the Alberta Junior Hockey League -- they played together at the World Junior A Challenge and at the CJHL Prospects Game.

They’ll both be at UND this fall.

“I think Ottawa did that a little bit as a plan. . .  I hope,” Tychonick said, smiling. “Next year, we’re going to the same school. Now, we’re drafted to the same team. Coincidence? I don’t know. Maybe. We’ll see, but we have great chemistry together.”

Tychonick said that after he committed to UND, he heard that the Fighting Hawks were interested in Bernard-Docker, so he texted him.

“What are you going to do?” Tychonick messaged Bernard-Docker. “This would be so cool.”

Tychonick and Bernard-Docker are starting a run of high-end NHL prospects lined up to come in on defense for UND.

“It’s kind of neat, the correlation of those two young guys growing up together,” Berry said. “They took different paths to North Dakota, but they’re here, they’re going to play together and now, they’re going to play together at the next level.”

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 13th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016 and 2018, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He also was the NCHC's inaugural Media Excellence Award winner in 2018. Schlossman 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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