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UND defenseman Jonny Tychonick to hit the transfer portal

Mankato-v-UND-PUK-0731
University of North Dakota's Jonny Tychonick skates with the puck against Minnesota State Mankato during the third period Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, at the Mankato Civic Center in Mankato, Minn. Jason Wachter/The Rink Live
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Jonny Tychonick will be looking for a new opportunity next season.

After playing a limited role on UND's loaded defensive core over the last two years, Tychonick is hitting the NCAA's transfer portal in search of a new college program for his final two years of eligibility.

Tychonick, a second-round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators in 2018, confirmed the move to the Herald on Wednesday night.

Tychonick played in 24 of 35 games for UND (an illness kept him out for three games in the first half), tallying four goals and 11 points, while registering a plus-20 rating. During the second half of the season, Tychonick's minutes were down. He was scratched a couple of times and played as the seventh defenseman a couple times.

"To be honest, there are a lot of different emotions going on right now," Tychonick said. "I had some conversations with the coaching staff that were honest and good. I had conversations with my roommates and teammates. I talked to my roommates and got a little emotional with them. I roomed with Jasper (Weatherby) the last two years. The friendships were incredible, so I was really upset about (losing) that. I texted the team today. They were all super supportive. That shows you the types of players they bring in here.

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"For me, it's coming down to crunch time. I have two years left. I don't want to sit in the stands or on the bench. I want to play in the NHL some day. There's only so much developing you can do by only playing a little instead of playing a lot."

Tychonick said UND's coaching staff is working to try to get him eligible to play right away next season. He said head coach Brad Berry signed a release in hopes that the NCAA would waive the one-year, sitting-out period.

"Brad was so helpful and supportive," Tychonick said. "I can't thank the coaching staff enough for helping me the past two years and being so respectful through this whole process. I want to thank my teammates, too -- they're unbelievable -- as well as UND and the Grand Forks community for supporting us every night. It's two years I'll never forget."

Tychonick, a 5-foot-10, 177-pound left-handed defenseman from Calgary, came to UND with the reputation of an offensive-minded defenseman from his days with the Penticton Vees in the British Columbia Hockey League. Tychonick quarterbacked the power play in junior hockey but had only limited power-play time in Grand Forks.

As a freshman, Tychonick tallied four assists in 28 games as he worked to round out his defensive game. As a sophomore, he bumped his numbers to four goals and 11 points.

His most memorable games included a two-goal, three-point performance against Miami on Nov. 8 and his game-winning goal in the third period at defending national champion Minnesota Duluth in January.

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But Tychonick often found himself on the depth chart behind captain Colton Poolman, junior Matt Kiersted, first-round draft pick Jacob Bernard-Docker, junior Gabe Bast, senior Andrew Peski, and, at times, rookie Ethan Frisch.

It was a historic year overall for UND, which finished 26-5-4, the fourth-best mark in program history. The Fighting Hawks were 20-1-3 with Tychonick in the lineup.

"For me, personally, I'm sad but I'm also super excited," Tychonick said. "This is kind of a new opportunity for me. It's an opportunity to find a place that wants to bring me and the type of player I am."

Tychonick, who turned 20 years old last month, said he does not have a pre-determined destination for next season, but he is set on playing college hockey.

"I'm taking this with a pretty open mind," Tychonick said. "I have no team I want to go to yet. I'm going to listen to everyone's speech about their program. That's the only thing I'm going to do right now."

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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