The Winnipeg Jets have gained a defenseman, and lost one. Thursday morning they signed Tucker Poolman to a one-year Entry-Level Contract. The deal has an AAV of $1.775 million. Poolman was a fifth-round selection by the Jets in 2013.
Winnipeg Jets Sign Tucker Poolman; Lose Tobias Enstrom to Injury
Poolman just finished his junior season with North Dakota, and becomes the third Fighting Hawk to sign with an NHL team. Almost immediately after their overtime loss to Boston University, Brock Boeser signed his Entry-Level Contract with the Vancouver Canucks. Boeser went on to score his first NHL goal the next day. Tyson Jost also signed with the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday, and will likely make his NHL debut Friday against the St. Louis Blues
Poolman won’t have the chance to score his first goal less than 24 hours after signing like Boeser did. In fact, Poolman won’t even be able to see his NHL debut this Spring. On March 18, against the University of Minnesota, Poolman received a hard hit into the boards from Anaheim Ducks prospect Brent Gates Jr. Pullman managed to skate to the bench, and he went straight down the tunnel to the locker room. It was later announced that he would need a two-part shoulder surgery and would miss the rest of the season. He is receiving the first surgery later this week, and his availability for training camp this Fall isn’t certain yet.
Before his injury, Poolman was having an impressive season with North Dakota. When the season ended, Poolman had the most points out of the team’s defensemen; and the third most on the team. Playing in 38 games, the team captain finished with 30 points. All but seven of these points were assists. One of his goals in early March was particularly impressive, when he performed a “one-man cycle” before back-handing the puck over Ryan Larkin‘s shoulder.
Overall, Poolman is a very solid two-way defender. He’s proven his ability to use his strength and awareness in the defensive zone, but also is very fond of joining the rush and working down low in the offensive zone. Combined with the other strong defensive prospects that Winnipeg possesses, the future of the team’s blue-liners is very impressive.
Tobias Enstrom Injury
The Jets also announced that Tobias Enstrom would miss the rest of the season following a knee surgery. He has been a solid defenseman for the Jets this year, recording 16 points in 60 games. He has one season left on his contract after this year’s ends, before becoming a UFA.