Jasper Weatherby will start the season in the NHL.
The former UND forward, who signed his first pro contract in August, has made the San Jose Sharks roster out of training camp. He is one of 16 former UND players on opening-day NHL rosters.
The other 15 have all made their NHL debuts.
Weatherby will have that chance Saturday night when the Sharks host the Winnipeg Jets at 9 p.m. If he plays, Weatherby will become the 108th former UND player to play in the NHL.
Weatherby is expected to start the season centering San Jose's fourth line.
The Ashland, Ore., product's development has skyrocketed since he stepped foot on UND's campus in 2018. As a rookie, Weatherby scored three goals. He increased that production to 10 as a sophomore and finished one goal off the National Collegiate Hockey Conference's lead as a junior with 14.
Weatherby, a fourth-round pick of the Sharks in 2018, signed a two-year deal with a base salary of $750,000 per year if he's in the NHL.
One other player from last year's Fighting Hawks team will begin in the NHL — NCHC MVP Shane Pinto with the Ottawa Senators. Pinto played 12 NHL games last spring.
The others starting in the NHL are East Grand Forks Senior High graduate Tucker Poolman (Vancouver Canucks), Warroad High graduates T.J. Oshie (Washington Capitals) and Brock Nelson (New York Islanders), Brock Boeser (Vancouver Canucks), Drake Caggiula (Buffalo Sabres), Derek Forbort (Boston Bruins), Rocco Grimaldi (Nashville Predators), Tyson Jost (Colorado Avalanche), Zach Parise (New York Islanders), Nick Schmaltz (Arizona Coyotes), Carter Rowney and Troy Stecher (Detroit Red Wings), Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks) and Christian Wolanin (Los Angeles Kings).
Toews is especially noteworthy.
The three-time Stanley Cup-winning captain of the Chicago Blackhawks sat out all of last season with chronic immune response syndrome.
Toews said this week he plans to play in Chicago's regular-season opener Wednesday night at Colorado.
The season opens Tuesday with two marquee games — Pittsburgh at two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay (6:30 p.m., ESPN) and Dave Hakstol's Seattle Kraken playing at the Vegas Golden Knights (9 p.m., ESPN).
UND has 31 players, in all, on NHL contracts this season.
The other 15 will start in the American Hockey League and could get called up at any time. They are Collin Adams (Islanders), Paul LaDue (Islanders), Jacob Bernard-Docker (Senators), Aaron Dell (Sabres), Rhett Gardner (Dallas Stars), Jordan Kawaguchi (Stars), Adam Scheel (Stars), Shane Gersich (Capitals), Cam Johnson (Columbus Blue Jackets), Luke Johnson (Winnipeg Jets), Austin Poganski (Jets), Matt Kiersted (Florida Panthers), Cole Smith (Predators), Grant Mismash (Predators) and Colton Poolman (Calgary Flames).
Six of them have yet to play in the NHL and are looking to make their debuts this season — Adams, Kawaguchi, Scheel, Cam Johnson, Mismash and Poolman.
UND on 2021-22 NHL opening-day rosters
Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks
Drake Caggiula, Buffalo Sabres
Derek Forbort, Boston Bruins
Rocco Grimaldi, Nashville Predators
Tyson Jost, Colorado Avalanche
Brock Nelson, New York Islanders
T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals
Zach Parise, New York Islanders
Shane Pinto, Ottawa Senators
Tucker Poolman, Vancouver Canucks
Carter Rowney, Detroit Red Wings
Nick Schmaltz, Arizona Coyotes
Troy Stecher, Detroit Red Wings
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Jasper Weatherby, San Jose Sharks
Christian Wolanin, Los Angeles Kings