DULUTH, MN (UMD Press Release) – Riley Tufte, who recently put the wraps on his junior season with the NCAA champion University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, has signed a three-year entry level contract with the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars and thus will forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility.
A first round pick (25th pick overall) of the Stars in the 2016 NHL Draft, Tufte generated 19 points on nine goals and 10 assists while skating in all 42 games this past winter. He paced the 2018-19 Bulldogs in power play goals and ranked fourth in overall goals with nine. A native of Ham Lake, Minn., Tufte took shifts in 121 career games with the Bulldogs and had 64 points (34 goals and 30 assists) and a +28 plus-minus rating to show for it. He also also represented the United States at the 2018 World Jr. Championship, helping his country secure a Bronze Medal
Tufte is the 18th Bulldog since 2007 to leave UMD early for the professional ranks, joining forwards Mason Raymond (with Vancouver in 2007), Rob Bordson (Anaheim in 2010), Mike Connolly (San Jose in 2011), J.T. Brown (Tampa Bay in 2012),Caleb Herbert (Washington in 2014), Adam Johnson (Pittsburgh in 2017) and Joey Anderson (New Jersey in 2018), defensemen Matt Niskanen (Dallas in 2007), Jason Garrison (Florida in 2008), Evan Oberg (Vancouver in 2009), Dylan Olsen (Chicago in 2010), Justin Faulk (Carolina in 2011), Chris Casto (Boston in 2013) and Neal Pionk (New York Rangers in 2017) and goaltenders Alex Stalock (San Jose in 2009), Kasimir Kaskisuo (Toronto in 2016) and Hunter Miska (Phoenix in 2017).