July 30, 2005 was undoubtedly one of the happiest days in 19-year-old Sasha Pokulok’s life. The sophomore defenseman was selected as the 14th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals – the highest selection of a Cornell player since Ken Dryden ’69.
But, things haven’t gone quite as Pokulok planned since that day almost five months ago. Expected to carry a larger role in his second year, Pokulok had a slow start to the 2005-06 season, not meeting his own, or head coach Mike Schafer’s ’86 high expectations.
Judging from his play over the past couple of weeks however, Pokulok has found the form which has touted him as potentially one of the best two-way blue liners in the nation. Solid in protecting junior goaltender David McKee’s net in recent action, Pokulok also had a breakout performance offensively last weekend, scoring a pair of goals on Friday night in a 5-2 win over then-ECACHL leading St. Lawrence, and following that up with a pair of assists in a 4-2 triumph against Clarkson.
“Anytime you get a guy with Sasha’s skill who starts getting some confidence back