With the goal of replacing a four-member senior class, Cornell men’s hockey has announced its freshman class for this upcoming season — a talented group of five skaters.
Corey Hoffman, Noah Bauld, Jeff Malott, Yanni Kaldis and Connor Murphy make up the incoming class of 2020, with Kaldis serving as the lone defender in the group. The five represent the smallest class on the team; the other three classes are all at least seven skaters strong.
Four of the five skaters are under six feet tall and only one hits the 200-pound plateau. However, head coach Mike Schafer ’86 welcomed the players’ smaller stature, citing the alternative physical prowesses that they will add to the team.
“Gone are the days where you can physically punish teams, so now you have to intimidate with speed,” Schafer said to Cornell Athletics. “With this class, they’re all tremendous skaters and have great skills and offensive instincts. They’re going to increase our team’s speed and skill level and improve our ability to play at a faster pace.”
In terms of hometowns, four of the five incoming Cornellians are native to Canada, with only one skater — Hoffman — hailing from within the United States. After the addition of the incoming class, the roster is split exactly in half between American and Canadian players, 14 from each country.
Hoffman spent the past year on two teams in the British Columbia Hockey League, amassing 39 points in 56 games between his two clubs, leading the Cowichan Valley Capitals in playoff scoring with 10 points in six games.
Bauld averaged just under one point per game with the Lloydminster Bobcats in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, helping lead the team to the RBC Cup, the championship game for Canadian Junior A teams.
Malott joined Bauld in the AJHL on the Brooks Bandits, recording a total of 80 points in 99 games, including 60 points in 46 games this past season. Malott was named the Bandits’ most valuable player and was selected to be on the AJHL South Division All-League Team.
The lone defender, Kaldis, spent his past two years with the Nanaimo Clippers as a major playmaker, as evidenced by his 110 assists in 112 games, placing him second in scoring in the league last season among defensemen.
Murphy spent the past two seasons on two different teams in the United States Hockey League, notching 57 regular season points in that span. Before that, he was the Ontario Hockey Association Junior B Player of the Year and was honored with the OHA top prospect award.
While each incoming skater has his own personal collection of accolades, all-star selections and hardware won on previous teams, they now begin a shared future in Ithaca come August.