DALLAS, Texas -- Despite not hearing his name on the first day of the NHL Entry Draft, Jonny Tychonick didn’t have to wait long for his name to be called on Saturday, as he was selected 48th overall by the Ottawa Senators.
Tychonick became the eighth Fighting Hawks player to be picked by the Ottawa Senators and the second of this year’s draft, alongside fellow incoming freshman defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker.
“It’s a relief,” said Tychonick on Saturday. “I waited up there all day yesterday with the mindset of just watching, cheering everyone on who got picked, but today felt like the real deal. Pick by pick I was waiting and to hear it was Ottawa, it was unbelievable. They’re going through a rebuild right now and it’s going to be a journey, but it’ll be an exciting one. This is just a step in the right direction. It’s super-important. It really paves the right kind of pathway. The real work begins.”
Tychonick had nine goals and 47 points in 48 points with Penticton of the BCHL last season, along with 17 points in 11 playoff games, and took home first-team BCHL All-Star honors at the end of the season. The Calgary, Alberta, native also had a big hand in Penticton’s BCHL title in 2016-17.
Tychonick becomes another member of the Vees to join North Dakota following the likes of Tyson Jost, Nick Jones, and Gabe Bast, all of whom have come out of the Vees' system in the last few years. Seeing the nature of how things were run in Penticton and North Dakota guided his choice to choose the NCAA.
“The main thing was the professional environment in Penticton from [general manager/head coach] Fred Harbinson and their winning tradition there,” Tychonick noted. “Then to North Dakota, another winning environment with amazing, amazing coaches and the main thing was the comfortability I had with them and the amount of NHL players they’ve produced. When I went to Penticton, I talked to Jost a little bit just about why he picked Penticton and North Dakota and his main comment was, ‘You just gotta see it.’”
Tychonick is also very familiar with his fellow first-year UND player and former teammate Bernard-Docker. Both played together in the World Junior A tournament for Canada this past season, where Canada West took home the Gold Medal.
“Ottawa may have done that as some plan with picking us,” joked Tychonick. “But next year going to the same school, and we’re drafted by the same team? Coincidence? I don’t know, but we’ll find out.”
When asked if he believed the two would play together on the same defense pairing at North Dakota?
“If I had to guess...maybe? Most likely? We have great chemistry together, so we’ll see," said Tychonick. "I committed a year earlier than he did and during my 16-year-old year, I heard a rumor they were talking to him. I texted him and said, 'I heard a rumor North Dakota was talking to you, what are you going to do? This would be so cool.'"
"We built some chemistry together playing at the World Junior A," continued Tychonick, "and it’d be awesome to play alongside him again.”