Backcheck: Tim Stapleton

Tim Stapleton parlayed his four-year career at Minnesota Duluth into a successful two-year stint in Finland. From there the Forest Park, Ill., native earned an NHL contract, and now he appears on the verge of playing his first full season in the best league in the world with the Winnipeg Jets.

It started with those impressive four years in Duluth, where he led the Bulldogs in scoring as a freshman and as a senior. He played with some tremendously talented players - including fellow NHLers Mason Raymond and Matt Niskanen and Hobey Baker winner Junior Lessard - and finished with 152 points in 162 games.

An offensive talent upon arrival at UMD, he credits coach Scott Sandelin and his staff for instilling the defensive awareness that has made him a successful pro. Despite his 5-foot-9 stature, Stapleton has carved out a solid role with the Jets, averaging 10 minutes of ice time a night and posting 13 points in 33 games.

College Hockey, Inc. caught up with him in Boston's TD Garden recently, the same rink where he played in the 2004 Frozen Four.

Previous Backchecks:
Brian Rolston (Lake Superior State)
Matt Greene (North Dakota)
Mike Grier (Boston University)
Jack Capuano (Maine)
Ryan Jones (Miami)
Marty Reasoner (Boston College)
Ken Morrow (Bowling Green)
Paul Martin (Minnesota)
Hal Gill (Providence)
Glenn Healy (Western Michigan)

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