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UND defenseman Jonny Tychonick set to transfer to Omaha

Mankato-v-UND-PUK-0731
University of North Dakota's Jonny Tychonick skates with the puck against Minnesota State Mankato during the third period Oct. 18, 2019, at the Mankato Civic Center in Mankato, Minn. Jason Wachter/The Rink Live
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Jonny Tychonick is staying in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

The UND sophomore defenseman will transfer to Omaha in the fall.

Tychonick, a second-round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators, entered the transfer portal April 1 and talked to 12 teams. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, Tychonick did all of his recruitment through the Zoom app.

"It was honestly the hardest thing I've been through," Tychonick said. "We did Zoom calls, so I saw everyone face-to-face. Everything about every school was so positive. There was nothing negative that I noticed. It was so hard to come to a decision. It took me like two days to come to this decision, but that's a good thing. You want it to be hard. Then, you know every decision would have been the right decision."

How did he land on Omaha?

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"The biggest thing I've been saying is that it's more of a heart and gut decision," Tychonick said. "I feel really comfortable with their coaching staff. I feel like they're knowledgeable in hockey and that will really benefit me."

Although Tychonick has seen the facilities in Omaha and at Baxter Arena, he said that didn't play a huge factor in his decision.

"The biggest thing was playing time and being comfortable in the environment," Tychonick said. "That's where I came to Omaha. In my heart and gut, I know it will be the right decision."

Tychonick also said he did not only look at NCHC schools, though they are closer geographically to his home of Calgary.

"I was open minded to absolutely everything," he said. "It was whatever I felt was my best option at the end of the day. It didn't matter where the school was. I just wanted to hear and understand what's best for me. At the end of the day, Omaha was that for me."

Tychonick, 5-foot-10, 177 pounds, had four goals and 11 points in 24 games as a sophomore at UND, but played limited minutes at the end of the season in UND's deep defensive core, which featured captain Colton Poolman, first-round draft pick Jacob Bernard-Docker and all-NCHC junior Matt Kiersted.

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Bernard-Docker and Kiersted already confirmed they'll return for next season.

There is an opening to play big minutes with Omaha immediately. The Mavericks lost senior NHL draft picks Ryan Jones and Dean Stewart to graduation.

Tychonick said that the UND coaching staff is working to try to help him be eligible immediately next season. He will have two years of college eligibility remaining.

"I want to thank UND as a whole, and all the coaching staff, for being so supportive and being first-class through this all for me," Tychonick said. "They've been so supportive. They've been first-class. I really want to thank them."

UND is scheduled to play the Mavericks on Dec. 4-5 in Omaha's Baxter Arena and March 6-7 in Ralph Engelstad Arena. The Grand Forks series will end the regular season.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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