STOCKTON, Calif. - Nik Pokulok, a defenseman for the Clarkson University Hockey team the past four seasons, has signed his first professional contract to play for the Stockton Thunder, proud East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Pokulok is expected to join the Thunder lineup in time for Friday’s ECHL game against the Ontario Reign at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
"It's tough to find quality shut down defensemen, especially at this time of year and we like the possibilities that lie ahead for Nik and his game," said Thunder head coach Matt Thomas. "His big frame and long reach will help us in our defensive zone and we're expecting him to compliment our current group with a physical edge that can be useful during March and in the playoffs."
Pokulok, a native of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec, comes to the Thunder after skating in 133 career games in college with Clarkson, notching 19 points. He joins former Golden Knight forward Shawn Weller (2004-07) on the Stockton roster.
A 6-foot-5 and 225-pound defenseman, Pokulok suited up in 32 games as a 2012-13 senior with the Golden Knights and was one of four players on the program to suit up in all 37 games (career high) as a 2009-10 freshman.
Pokulok's brother, Sasha, was a first round selection (14th overall) by the Washington Capitals in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and previously skated in the ECHL for South Carolina and Bakersfield.
Pokulok will wear No. 7 with the Thunder.