Kraken prospect Tyson Jugnauth making move to WHL Portland (source)

2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JULY 07: The draft board during Round One of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)Photo: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Seattle Kraken prospect and defenseman Tyson Jugnauth has committed to the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, effectively ending his college hockey tenure with the Wisconsin Badgers, a source has confirmed to 93.3 KJR-FM. 

Jugnauth will join the major junior program, playing just a two-and-a-half hour drive away from general manager Ron Francis and his staff, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2022 National Hockey League Entry Draft. The move was made possible when the Winterhawks acquired the signing rights to Jugnauth from the Kamloops Blazers on Wednesday, in exchange for a second and third round draft pick, and a pair of conditional draft picks. 

The 19-year old is expected to make a major impact on the Winterhawks blueline while competing in the Western Hockey League’s prominent U.S. Division, where the Kraken reside with additional short drives away from the neighboring Seattle Thunderbirds, Everett Silvertips, Wenatchee Wild, and Tri-City Americans. 

The six-foot defenseman, who plays a creative game with skill, has a pair of assists in 13 games for Wisconsin as a sophomore and earned 15 points in 32 games as a freshman, second on the program’s scoring race among blueliners. Jugnauth was originally selected by Kamloops in the seventh round of the WHL Draft in 2021, who held his rights as he originally committed to play for Wisconsin out of West Kelowna in the BCHL. 

Players who commit to college hockey programs are free to leave for major junior teams, but are ineligible to return at all, as any competition in the Canadian Hockey League, which houses the WHL, is considered forfeiture of their NCAA eligibility. 

His move to the Winterhawks opens the door for more reps in a slightly truncated, pro-style 68-game regular season schedule, versus the college level that runs a 34-game slate. The Winterhawks’ first game with Jugnauth could be as soon as Friday, opening up a grinding three-games in three days slate, at home against Spokane. 

Seattle will visit Portland on Saturday, followed by the Winterhawks first road game since the trade on Sunday when they visit Everett. 

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