After struggling for two seasons at North Dakota, Jonny Tychonick looks to find stability at the University of Nebraska-Omaha
A great point producer during his career in the BCHL with the Penticton Vees, Jonny Tychonick was expected to thrive and be a top defenceman on North Dakota much like teammate Jacob Bernard-Docker, but that never came to fruition.
Being a dynamic talent during his days in the BCHL, where in his draft year he produced 54 points in 51 games, making him a mid second-round selection of the Ottawa Senators. With his struggles during his first two college seasons, the talent hasn’t left Tychonick and at only 20 years old he has a ton of time to develop.
Now with The University of Nebraska-Omaha, Tychonick will have plenty more opportunities to shine, as North Dakota was arguably the deepest team in the country.
While not having a dream season this year, Tychonick did improve upon his freshman season. Contributing 4 goals and 11 points in 24 games and while plus/minus is an overvalued stat, he did have one of the best ratings on the team with a plus 20.
One of the Senators 2018 second-rounder’s nicest goals of the season came versus Miami (Ohio) where he joined the rush and would eventually fire a one-timer past the net minder:
In what wasn’t a story book year, Tychonick made some nice plays, especially when he used his great skating to join the rush.
Tychonick was a consistent scratch at the beginning of the season and struggled for playing time when inserted in the lineup.
At moments the Senators prospect was asked to play forward, which is no help to his development and something that would have to be rectified if he wants to develop.
Tychonick’s inconsistent playing time and occasional healthy scratches were enough to push him over the edge and ultimately result in a transfer. The 20-year old defenceman had some comments about why the move was made in an article in the Grand Forks Herald:
"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.”"
Playing limited minutes wasn’t the way the prospect wanted to spend his college career.
A tough year for Tychonick but one that was necessary for his development.
What will next season look like?
The talented defenceman officially transferred to the University of Nebraska-Omaha on April 14th, staying in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), looking to carve out a larger role for himself.
Usually once you enter the transfer portal you have to miss the next season, but Tychonick and the North Dakota coaching staff tried to get a special exemption. Tychonick would be granted the ability to suit up next season for Omaha by the NCAA:
Great news for Tychonick, as a wasted season would of been detrimental to his development.
In another article by the Grand Forks Herald, the talented defenceman would cite why he chose Nebraska-Omaha:
"“I was open minded to absolutely everything,” he said. “It was whatever I felt was my best option at the end of the day. It didn’t matter where the school was. I just wanted to hear and understand what’s best for me. At the end of the day, Omaha was that for me.”"
With Omaha not being a powerhouse by any means, finishing last season 14-17-5, ice time should be abundant for Tychonick.
Tychonick’s future in Ottawa
It’s tough to decipher what Tychonick’s path will be, from struggling through his sophomore season to hopefully becoming an Ottawa Senator, but players develop at different paces. Now with a great opportunity ahead at Omaha, the young defenceman can move himself up the Senators radar with a good season.
Tychonick’s path is looking eerily similar to that of former North Dakota player and current Senators defenceman Christian Wolanin. Wolanin struggled through his sophomore season with healthy scratches and occasionally being placed at forward as well. Wolanin did stick with North Dakota and broke out in his junior season the path could be similar for Tychonick.
It seems that Tychonick will be playing all four years in college and will then probably sign with the big club, but if the recent transfer stars at Omaha he might force a move to the pros based on his development.