UConn Hockey in the early to mid 1980's is vastly different than what we see today as a Hockey East Program. An ECAC Program that played a Division 2 & 3 slate for a long time. Even Mike Cavanaugh played against the Huskies while he played for and went to Bowdoin in the late 80's...where they dominated the Huskies...
But one player who played on the UConn Teams from 1984-88 featured a talented forward from the Chicago area who would turn some heads by the time he was done to get a shot in the NHL. That was Todd Krygier, who at 5-11, 175 was an offensive machine during his days playing in the covered, but not enclosed UConn Ice Rink....Yes, you heard me right !!
Krygier started at Rochester Institute of Technology in the 1983-84 season, but transferred to UConn the following season and played under former player Ben Kirtland. In his four seasons at UConn, Krygier and the Huskies we're just above .500 in year one, just under .500 in year two...where he scored 14, then 29 goals in his first two seasons as a Husky.
He was named one of the Team Captains in both his junior and senior seasons with UConn. While the team went a combined 23-31-2 in his final two campaigns with the Huskies, Krygier was producing great numbers. In his senior season, Todd had a 9 point game (2g-7a) vs Oswego. He also had a 6 assist game at Bowdoin in a wild 9-7 loss. 24g-24a as a junior was followed by a 32g-39a senior year. Todd is second All-Time at UConn with 200 career points and tops on the list with 99 goals.
While he was putting up numbers in Storrs, Bob Crocker and the scouting staff in Hartford was paying close attention. Taking him in the first round of the Supplemental Draft in 1988, Where after a brief stint in New Haven after the college season was over, began to flourish in his first full season. Scoring 26 goals and assisting in 42 others in Binghamton in his first full year of pro hockey. In the 1989-90 season, Krygier played the first 12 games of the season in Binghamton before the Whalers called him up. He never went back down...Scoring 18 goals and notching 12 assists in 58 games for the surging Whalers, who posted the league's 7th best record in the NHL. Problem was Teams 1, 3 and 4 all resided in the same division, The rugged Adams Division with Boston, Buffalo and Montreal. Krygier had two goals and an assist in the first two games in Boston where they came out with a split. The series went the distance with the Bruins winning in seven.
Following his 13g-17a 1990-91 season where he had 2 assists in a 6 game defeat of the Bruins again, he was traded to Washington. Where this 3rd/4th line forward put up decent numbers without any playoff success. His most productive NHL season was the 1995-96 year when he had 28 assists along with 9 goals in Anaheim. His final NHL Season was the 1997-98 year back in Washington. The numbers don't stand out, but it when you score that counts. Of the 13 playoff games he played with the Caps, he scored one goal, the OT Game winner from another former Whaler, Andre Nikolishin 3 minutes in that won Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals. Where they beat the Buffalo Sabres in six games. Only to be swept by the Powerhouse Red Wings in the Cup Finals.
It would be Krygier's last go in the NHL, but he wasn't done producing. 79 points in two years with the Orlando Ice Bears of the old IHL...After his playing days, Krygier got into coaching and worked his way up in the ranks. Novi, Michigan HS where he won the school's first state title in 2011. Then Coaching Muskegon in the USHL for three seasons where 7 Lumberjacks were drafted. And the prior three seasons to Grand Rapids, Krygier was an assistant at Western Michigan. Where he coached against the Huskies in the 2019 Vegas Ice Tournament. Now he's an assistant in the AHL with Grand Rapids, the Minor League Affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning. On a side note, Krygier returned to Hartford in November, 2014. Where along with Cheshire's Brian Leetch, dropped the ceremonial faceoff prior to UConn's First Hockey East Home Game with Boston College.
Once hockey is in your blood, it never goes away. Many like Todd Krygier have turned to coaching after their playing days. But he'll always be a Husky First....