The Daily Skate: More than 50 players enter the transfer portal in a day

Monday was the first day non graduate students could enter the NCAA transfer portal in Division-I men's hockey.

UND Fighting Hawks vs. Quinnipiac -- Oct. 15, 2022.jpg
Fighting Hawks goaltender Jakob Hellsten (32) catches a flying puck in the first period of a home men's hockey game against Quinnipiac at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks on Saturday, October 15, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS — The NCAA men's hockey transfer portal opened for Division-I non-graduate students Monday.

There was a stampede to get in.

In all, 52 Division-I men's players entered the transfer portal Monday alone.

There are now more than 100 players in the portal. More are expected throughout the week.

A pair of UND players entered the portal on opening day — sophomore defenseman Brent Johnson and sophomore goaltender Jakob Hellsten.


Considering their playing time in the second half of the season — Johnson didn't play after Dec. 3; Hellsten didn't start after Jan. 13 — neither was a big surprise.

Hellsten's departure likely seals Hobie Hedquist's arrival this fall as the No. 2 goaltender. Hedquist is currently playing juniors in the British Columbia Hockey League.

UND needs to find a No. 1 out of the NCAA transfer portal.

There are currently 16 goalies in the portal, but only four who served as their team's primary starter this season — UMass sophomore Luke Pavicich (.920), American International senior Jarrett Fiske (.923), Niagara senior Chad Veltri (.906) and Sacred Heart senior Luke Lush (.899).

Johnson's departure means UND has lost four of its eight defensemen (Chris Jandric, Ty Farmer and Ryan Sidorski are out of eligibility). More could come. Tyler Kleven is expected to sign an NHL contract, while Ethan Frisch will have an opportunity to turn pro.

UND will likely bring in five rookie defensemen but will need at least one veteran out of the portal to play big minutes.

Johnson, a third-round pick of the Washington Capitals, was one of five NHL draft picks to enter the portal Monday.

The others were Miami forward Red Savage (Detroit, Round 4), Northeastern forward Jack Hughes (L.A. Kings, Round 2), Providence forward Patrick Moynihan (New Jersey, Round 6) and Northeastern forward Sam Colangelo (Anaheim, Round 2).


Other National Collegiate Hockey Conference players in the portal are Colorado College defenseman Connor Mayer, Omaha defenseman Davis Pennington, Miami forward Chase Pletzke, Miami forward Michael Holland, Miami defenseman Alex Murray and Miami forward Joe Cassetti.

Forward Noah Prokop, who played two seasons at Omaha and two at Colorado College, will transfer to St. Thomas.

CC star McKown signs

Colorado College star forward Hunter McKown, an undrafted free agent, signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday.

McKown scored 21 goals as a junior for the Tigers. He accounted for a higher percentage of his team's goals than any other player in the nation.

McKown is the second NCHC player to sign an NHL deal this offseason, joining Minnesota Duluth junior defenseman Wyatt Kaiser.


  • Defenseman Johnny Tychonick, who played two seasons at UND and three at Omaha, signed with the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies.

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
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