by Meaghan Cahill ’20
Since the abrupt end to the Providence College Men’s Hockey Team’s playoff run, defenseman Jake Walman ’18 has had an exciting post-season that unfortunately cut his time as a Friar short.
Back in 2014, Walman was drafted in the third round (82nd overall) in the NHL Draft by the St. Louis Blues. Flash forward three years to March 28, 2017, less than two weeks since the Friars season ended against Harvard University, Walman surrendered his final year of NCAA eligibility and signed a three-year contract with the Blues. However, rather than playing with the Blues right away, Walman headed to Chicago to play for their AHL affiliated team, the Chicago Wolves.
In an interview written by Mark Divver for the Providence Journal, PC’s head coach Nate Leaman stated: “It’s a great opportunity for him. He’s one of the better offensive defensemen in the country in the past two years. He can skate. He can make plays. He can gap with the best of them because he is an elite skater.”
Walman, in a post-game interview for the Wolves, discussed his experience briefly as a Friar. Walman reminisced on the three seasons he spent in Friartown by stating they were “the best three years of my life by far. I made great memories there that I’ll have forever.”
Before his departure from the College, Walman was named a New England Division I All-Star for the second season in a row. Walman is the first Friar to earn the title of being an All-Star two seasons in a row since Chad Quennville back in 1993-1994. Walman has notched a total of 20 goals and 53 points over the past two seasons with the Friar. During his sophomore year, Walman lead all of the NCAA Division I defensemen goals (13), points per game (1.04), power play goals (eight), and game-winning goals (four).
Walman also managed to snipe one past the Charlotte Checkers’ goalie this past weekend to net his first ever professional goal. In terms of first goals, Walman joined former Friar hockey player and National Champion Noel Acciari ’15 who also just recently scored his first NHL goal. Acciari plays for the Boston Bruins and, much like Walman, left PC after his junior year to go professional. He spent some time playing for the Providence Bruins before he was called up to Boston.
Other notable PC hockey alumni that have gone professional include Hal Gill ’97 (who played for six different NHL teams, including the Pittsburgh Penguins where he won the Stanley Cup in 2009), Steve Rooney ’85 (won the Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1986), Colin McDonald ’07, Tim Schaller ’13, as well as many others. Current Friars who have been drafted by NHL teams and will eventually be going professional include Erik Foley ’19, Anthony Florentino ’17, Kasper Björkqvist ’20, Brian Pinho ’18, and Hayden Hawkey ’19.