Likely multi-category stud once he reaches the NHL. He has the speed and shot to go along with his massive frame.
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June 2022 – Tufte, a 6-6 speedy and agile giant looks like he could have a full time shot in the NHL next season. Despite underwhelming point totals in both the NHL (10 games, one point) and AHL (54 games, 20 points), his intelligent physical game sets him apart from most bottom-6 forwards. If he makes the NHL out of training camp, expect Tufte’s game to shine with some more experienced linemates.
It has been reported that there are some tensions between Tufte and the Stars after he was scratched moments before a game in his home state of Minnesota. Being an RFA, it is not impossible Tufte is used as a trade chip in the off-season. Aaron Itovitch
August 2020 – After three seasons of very pedestrian point totals in the NCAA (64 points in 121 games) it may be safe to say that Tufte will not be an offensive dynamo at the NHL level. Since leaving High School after his draft year, at no point has Tufte been relied upon as the main aspect of his team’s offensive, which in turn has led to him starting the refinement of his defensive game. Tufte does still have a massive frame and should he further refine his offensive and defensive prowess in the AHL during the 2020-21 season, he could provide some secondary scoring from the bottom six in the 2021-22 season and beyond. Jordan Lambe
April 2019 – For back-to-back seasons, Tufte and the University of Minnesota-Duluth are National Champions. Although his production dropped to 19 points in 42 games after registering 29 points last season, he was an integral part to the on-going success of Duluth. Currently, all signs point to him returning for his fourth season with the Bulldogs. This may be somewhat concerning for Stars fans as he could potentially be a free agent at the end of next season. Although some are quick to label the pick as a bust, he has an intriguing skillset. He is a large forward who can skate well and has good hands. He is often able to make plays in tight and uses his big frame to drive to the net. Although he may not be producing at a huge rate, he is a physically mature player who should be able to transition to professional hockey fairly well. Stars fans should be watching the former first round pick in the coming years as the Stars will look to lure Tufte to Dallas instead of pursuing free agency. Brandon Floyd
January 2018 – The big bodied forward, Riley Tufte, earned a spot on the US World Junior team amongst a stellar pool of options. Tufte struggled a bit in the loss to Slovakia, but brings size and speed that can’t be overlooked. During collegiate play this season he has been terrific as he has recorded eight goals in 19 games, while delivering big hits and making his presence felt. He should have a fantastic second half of the season for UMD as he’s a mismatch for any defender. Matt Kowalski
April 2017 – The imposing forward played in the NCAA National Championship with University of Minnesota Duluth. They were beaten by Denver three to two, but Tufte scored a huge goal in the third period to keep their hopes alive. It was his signature type of goal, a puck that dropped in the crease and Tufte muscled it home. During his postseason play, he tallied one goal and two assists, playing left-wing on the third-line. It was a nice end to Riley’s season after struggling for most of the first half. He turned it all around in January and ended with nine goals and seven assists with a plus-15, which isn’t bad considering how he started the year. He’ll play at UMD again next year, likely with a larger role. He’s a couple years away, but he should garner some fantasy attention. -Matt Kowalski
December 2016 – The University of Minnesota Duluth freshman didn’t play in his first game until middle of October due to a broken wrist suffered in evaluation camp. He’s registered just one point as he’s getting acclimated to the college level. Riley has been playing wing on the third line, while getting some minutes on the second power-play unit. Viewed as a guy that will need years of seasoning, he’ll likely play all four years at UMD. Matt Kowalski
August 2016 – Tufte injured his wrist this week at USA Junior Evaluation Camp and will sit out the rest of camp due to precautions. It doesn’t seem like anything serious, but he will take some time so he’s healthy for UMD this Fall. Matt Kowalski
June 2016 – The Dallas Stars drafted Tufte in the 2016 NHL draft out of Blaine HS (MN), and will attend University of Minnesota-Duluth in the fall. He possesses great skating ability, fantastic hands, and a big frame to take away vision from the opposition’s goaltender. Tufte had an amazing high school campaign at Blaine High School. He was named Mr. Hockey in 2016 as the best high school player in Minnesota, a prestigious award that brings a lot of recognition. As a senior, he tallied a massive 78 points in 25 games for his high school, with 47 goals. Even more impressive is that Minnesota high school hockey is considered the best in the country. He ended up playing 27 games for the Fargo Force of the USHL, continuing his development. Everyone compares him to his childhood friend, Nick Bjugstad. The comparison to Bjugstad might be a little generous at this stage of his development, but he does possess that big body and scoring ability, especially around the net. It’s worth noting that Riley has Type 1 diabetes, but it doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about.
Tufte will continue his development at UMD, while playing under an excellent coaching staff. While in college, he’ll face terrific competition in the NCHC that will prepare him for pro hockey. Look for him to add some strength and round out his game while at Duluth. The winger should be a nice fit for the Stars in a few years. He’s expected to be a stud college player, so you’ll be hearing his name within the college ranks. Matt Kowalski
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