While Cornell men’s hockey’s season ended abruptly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, awards continue to pour in for junior captain and forward Morgan Barron.
On Friday, the ECAC announced that Barron was named the conference’s player of the year.
The announcement comes two days after Barron was revealed to be one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, the most prestigious accolade in college hockey. Earlier in the week, Barron also received a nod on the All-ECAC Hockey first team, his second year in a row receiving that honor.
Barron, who tied for sixth in the ECAC in total points, may not have stuffed the stat sheet in comparison to some of the conference’s premier scoring threats, but he was clearly the best player on the ice and a leader for Cornell.
“He’s a great, great leader, along with our other captains,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86 after the team’s win against Yale on Nov. 9. “But he also does it on the ice, and that’s what you want your leaders to do, is they gotta perform — they can’t just speak the words, but they got to come out and they got to execute.”
With Barron leading the way, the Red compiled a 23-2-4 record, earning the Ivy League title and ECAC regular-season title. Going into the playoffs, Cornell appeared poised for further accomplishments until the season was cut short.
Individually, Barron paced the team in both goals (14) and assists (18). He also scored five goals on the Red’s power play, which ranked sixth in the nation (.262).
When Barron was on his game, the team was churning as well. Barron started and ended the season on a tear. In the team’s first six contests, Barron racked up 12 points, including his first career hat trick in that Yale contest.
While the Red went through a bit of a midseason lull, it flipped the switch following a 5-0 loss to Quinnipiac and finished the regular season on a nine-game winning streak. During that run, Barron put up 10 points, leading an offense that scored at least three goals in all nine of those contests.
Though Barron completed one of the best seasons for a Cornell forward, his future with the team remains uncertain. A sixth-round pick by the New York Rangers in the 2017 NHL Draft, Barron has the option of forgoing his remaining year of eligibility to turn pro.
Barron is the first Cornellian to be named Player of the Year since David McKee ’07.