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UMD hockey notebook: Brykaliuk leaving Bulldogs, Brown joining Kraken

Two former UMD standouts are on the move. Ashleigh Brykaliuk has left her position as an assistant coach with the Bulldogs women's hockey team while J.T. Brown is hanging up his skates as a player to become a television analyst for the Seattle Kraken.

UMD ASSISTANT COACHES
Minnesota Duluth assistant women's hockey coach Ashleigh Brykaliuk works with the team during a team practice in October 2018 at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. Clint Austin / File / caustin@duluthnews.com

Minnesota Duluth assistant women’s hockey coach Ashleigh Brykaliuk has resigned after three seasons with the Bulldogs to pursue a career in teaching .

A former captain who helped lead the Bulldogs to an NCAA tournament berth in 2016-17, Brykaliuk helped coach the Bulldogs to the Frozen Four in 2020-21. UMD went 45-35-10 in three seasons with Brykaliuk on the bench.

“As I make the difficult decision to move on from UMD, I will be eternally grateful for the opportunities that our university and women's hockey program has provided me as a student-athlete and coach,” Brykaliuk said in a statement . “The growth and development that I have gained as an athlete, coach and person since stepping foot on UMD's campus years ago is immeasurable and will help me succeed as I move on to my next chapter.”

FROM THE ARCHIVES:

Bryakliuk was a captain at UMD during her junior and senior seasons in 2015-16 and 2016-17, when she was also a 40-plus-point scorer. She finished with 62 goals and 83 assists in 146 games to finish her college career as the program’s 12th all-time leading scorer.
A native of Brandon, Manitoba, the 26-year-old Brykaliuk played one season of professional hockey in 2017-18 in the now defunct Canadian Women’s Hockey League, though she was in China with the Vanke Rays.

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“From leading the team on the ice during her prolific career as a Bulldog to coaching the current team to a Frozen Four, she has cemented her place in the history books as one of the best ever to represent UMD as a player and coach,” said UMD head coach Maura Crowell in a statement. “We have a special bond that will carry well beyond her days at Amsoil.”

JT Brown joins Seattle Kraken

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Minnesota Duluth's J.T. Brown celebrates the overtime win over Michigan in the 2011 NCAA championship game on April 9, 2011, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. (Clint Austin / File / caustin@duluthnews.com)

Former Bulldogs star J.T. Brown is hanging up his skates to join the Seattle Kraken as television analyst.

Brown played two seasons at UMD, helping the Bulldogs win their first national championship in 2011 before signing as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2012. He played 406 NHL regular season and postseason games in seven seasons, capping his NHL career with the Minnesota Wild in 2018-19.

“My road to the NHL was not an easy path,” Brown tweeted Monday . “It took blood, sweat, some tears, and a lot of help. I owe a lot to my wife, Lexi; she made significant sacrifices to put my career first. I want to thank my parents for being the first to believe in me. All the coaches, trainers, and front office staff, you make it happen.”

Brown spent the 2020-21 season with IF Bjokloven in Sweden. He was part of the Lightning organization for five-plus seasons before being claimed off waivers by the Anaheim Ducks in January 2018. The Minnesota Wild signed him to a two-year deal in July of 2018, but he only spent one season with the Wild in the NHL. Brown was sent down to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League for the 2019-20 season.

“My dream was always to make it to the NHL and once I got there, I knew I wanted to make it easier for kids like me,” Brown tweeted Monday . “I’m so excited for my new role as a TV color analyst with the Seattle Kraken and to continue to do the work that needs to be done to make hockey more inclusive.”

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Co-host of the Bulldog Insider Podcast and college hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune and The Rink Live covering the Minnesota Duluth men's and women's hockey programs.
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