On July 30, rising sophomore Sasha Pokulok was selected 14th in the 2005 National Hockey League Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals, making him Cornell’s first ever first-round NHL pick and the Red’s 10th draftee on the current roster.
Pokulok joined Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden ’69 as the highest selection of a Cornell player ever. Dryden was taken in the 14th spot by the Boston Bruins in the third round of the 1964 draft.
The 6-5, 220 pound defender was the first player selected in this year’s draft that had played in an NCAA game. Last season, the Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec, native played in 26 games despite missing most of February due to an injury, and tallied three goals and seven assists to go along with a +11 rating en route to a spot on the ECACHL All-Rookie squad.
Pokulok began his first season at Cornell on the right foot, as he scored the game-winner against Army on October 29 in his first-career game and followed that up by earning a spot on the All-Tournament team at the Florida College Classic held December 28-29 in Estero, Florida. For the tournament, Pokulok recorded three assists in a pair of games against Boston College and Maine, helping the Red to a third-place finish.
This season, Cornell head coach Mike Schafer ’86 will rely on Pokulok’s skills even more after losing defenders Charlie Cook ’05 and Jeremy Downs ’05 to graduation.
Archived article by Chris Mascaro
Sun Sports Editor