As expected, the Stockton Thunder added a defenseman to the team’s roster on Thursday (Mar. 14).
The club officially announced the signing of 6-foot-5, 225-pound Nik Pokulok, who should be with the Thunder when the team visits the Ontario Reign on Friday night. The signing had been anticipated since Wednesday night, when Stockton was beaten 7-2 by the San Francisco Bulls. Per club policy, contract terms were not disclosed.
“It’s tough to find quality shut-down defensemen, especially at this time of year, and we like the possibilities that lie ahead for Nik and his game,” Thunder Coach Matt Thomas said in a team-issued release. “His big frame and long reach will help us in our defensive zone, and we’re expecting him to complement our current group with a physical edge that can be useful during March and in the playoffs.”
Pokulok played in 133 career games at Clarkson University in New York, where he recorded 19 points and 189 penalty minutes. His older brother, Sasha, was chosen by the Washington Capitals in the first round of the 2005 National Hockey League entry draft and has played in the ECHL in the past with the South Carolina Stingrays and Bakersfield Condors.
Following Friday’s game in Ontario, the Thunder and Reign will meet in a rematch at Stockton Arena on Saturday night. The Reign will be without forward Derek Couture for both games because he will be serving a two-game suspension stemming from a match penalty for deliberately attempting to injure Stockton’s Colten Hayes during a game last weekend.
Bakersfield will visit Stockton Arena on Sunday.
Pokulok’s career statistics can be viewed here: