Minnesota Hockey Journal

February 2019

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DO YOU KNOW THE HIGHEST-SCORING MINNESOTAN IN MEN'S COLLEGE HOCKEY? He doesn't play for the Gophers, Huskies or Bulldogs. Not for North Dakota, Denver or Wisconsin. His name is Odeen Tufto, a Chaska native and forward for the top-10 ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats of Hamden, Conn. Of the 10 Mr. Hockey finalists in 2015, Tufto was the only player who was not committed to play college hockey, despite tallying an eye-popping 81 points in 31 games at St. Thomas Academy. In fact, he only had one offer upon finishing high school. "And at that same time, there were ninth-graders committing to the University of Minnesota," Tufto said. "You just have to have a chip on your shoulder." The Chaska Chanhassen Youth Hockey product spoke with MHJ about patience, skill development, goal-scoring and how size is no longer a factor at the highest levels of hockey. MHJ // Do you remember when you first tried skating or got into hockey? Odeen Tufto // My older brother, Andy, played. He got me into it. I started on figure skates because my older sister, Allie, was a figure skater. One of the biggest things, when I went to watch my older brother's games, I loved to watch the Zamboni. That was kind of my thing. I don't really know why, but whenever intermission or the end of the game came, and the Zamboni came out, I was obsessed. MHJ // You were the only uncommitted Mr. Hockey finalist. Why? Tufto // I didn't have much at the end of my senior year, even though I had a very good year statistics-wise and team-wise. I was told that I needed to prove myself because of my size and weight. MHJ // You certainly proved it in junior hockey. Tufto // Yeah, I had about 25 colleges talk to me after I had a strong showing at the BCHL showcase. Denver, Notre Dame, Boston College, Bemidji State, Quinnipiac and others were showing a lot of interest. Proving It Q&A by Aaron Paitich A love of Zambonis and outdoor ice paved the way for Odeen Tufto, one of the most potent players in college hockey M H J ON L I N E . C O M | F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 12

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