PORTLAND, ME – January 19, 2019 – After almost 300 career games in the ECHL, Mariners defenseman Zach Tolkinen is finally getting a shot at the next level. On Saturday, the Mariners captain was loaned to the Hartford Wolf Pack, giving him his first career chance in the AHL.
The 29-year-old defenseman signed with the Mariners in early July after playing the 2017-18 season under Riley Armstrong with the Wheeling Nailers. Since turning pro in 2014-15, Tolkinen has played for five ECHL teams (Elmira, Missouri, Rapid City, Wheeling, and Maine), suiting up in 293 career games. Known for his stay-at-home defensive style, Tolkinen’s best offensive year was his rookie season, when he had five goals and 14 assists with the Elmira Jackals and played in all 72 games. This season for the Mariners, Tolkinen has one goal and ten assists in 29 games.
A native of Lino Lakes, Minnesota, Tolkinen played two seasons at Centennial High School, two in the NAHL for Owatonna and Fairbanks, and four years of Division I hockey at Quinnipiac University before turning pro. On October 11th, 2018, Tolkinen was named the first captain in Mariners franchise history. Alternate captains Terrence Wallin (Hartford) and Scott Savage (Milwaukee) are both also currently on loans in the AHL.
The Mariners are off for the All-Star break, returning to play next Friday, January 25th at the Cross Insurance Arena against the Manchester Monarchs. It’s “White Out Night” as fans are encouraged to wear white clothing for a chance to win tickets to the March 8th Stanley Cup Visit when the Mariners host South Carolina. It’s also Maine Children’s Cancer Night presented by Anthem and local business and non-profit night. All Friday home games feature $1 hot dogs, $2 popcorn, and $3 Bud Lights through the start of the 2nd period. Tickets can be purchased HERE or by visiting or calling the Trusted Choice Box Office: 207-775-3458.