Two NHL Draft Picks Among Nine Newcomers To Cornell Men’s Hockey For 2019-20 Season
ITHACA, N.Y. – After qualifying for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament for a third straight season, the Cornell men’s ice hockey team has announced nine additions for the 2019-20 season. Mike Schafer, who will return for his 25th season as the Jay R. Bloom ’77 Head Coach of Men’s Hockey, announced the additions Tuesday as the team prepares to follow up on a trip to the national quarterfinals.
There are five forwards and four defensemen among the newcomers, pushing the roster size to 29 – 16 forwards, 10 defensemen and three goalies. The team’s schedule is expected to be announced later this week, and captains for the 2019-20 season will be named after the start of the fall semester.
Class of 2023 Player Biographies
Forward — 6 feet, 190 pounds — Duncan, British Columbia — Powell River Kings (BCHL)
Berard arrives after an injury-truncated third season in Powell River, though he did score 11 times in just 15 games while serving as team captain. He accumulated 115 career points in 135 games for his BCHL career, including 53 goals and 62 assists. Berard marks the fifth player to come to Cornell via Powell River in the last three years, reuniting with juniors Kyle Betts, Matt Cairns, Cam Donaldson and Tristan Mullin – all of whom were teammates with Berard during the 2016-17 season.
“Ben is a pure goal-scorer,” Schafer said. “He’s someone who can definitely get pucks in the back of the net.”
Defenseman — 6-foot-3, 195 pounds — Bainsville, Ontario — Central Illinois Flying Aces (USHL)
Dirven competed in the top-tier USHL for each of the last two seasons with Central Illinois. He ranked second among the team’s blueliners last year in scoring with six goals and 17 assists for 23 points in 61 games, and his plus-11 rating was tied for the team lead. In his first season with the Flying Aces, he competed alongside sophomore Max Andreev. Originally from the eastern reaches of Ontario, Dirven helped Canada East win silver at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge. He played two full seasons with the CCHL’s Cornwall Colts before his tenure in Central Illinois, earning CCHL third-team all-star honors in 2017.
“Sebastian has great feet and great length for a defenseman,” Schafer said. “He’s a very solid defensive defenseman who’s also a puck-mover. His skating skills can set him apart for someone who also has really good size.”
Defenseman — 5-foot-11, 183 pounds — Lakeville, Minn. — Bismarck Bobcats (NAHL)
Malinski was named the NAHL Central Division Defenseman of the Year and was placed on the NAHL Second All-Star Team after posting 45 points on 14 goals and 31 assists and a plus-20 rating in 59 games with Bismarck. Prior to splitting the 2017-18 season between the Bobcats and the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Malinski helped Lakeville South HS win the Section 1AA title and a fourth-place finish in Minnesota state.
“Sam is a great puck-mover,” Schafer said. “He was the top-scoring defenseman on his team last year. He does a great job of finding seams and getting pucks down to the net on the power play.”
Forward — 6-foot-1, 195 pounds — Madison, N.J. — Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)
Malone was recently selected in the sixth round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks after breaking through during his second full season in the USHL. He racked up 59 points on 19 goals and 40 assists in 57 games, more than quadrupling his point total from his rookie campaign with Youngstown. He attended the USA Hockey Select 15, 16 and 17 Camps, and he helped the U.S. win gold at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge (where he was a teammate of classmate Travis Mitchell). Malone also helped Delbarton School win consecutive New Jersey state titles in 2016 and 2017.
“Jack was one of the top scoring forwards in the USHL last year. His game has really developed,” Schafer said. “He’s a strong on-top-of-the-puck forward who can create offense, plus he has really good size and can play physical.”
Defenseman — 6-foot-3, 205 pounds — South Lyon, Mich. — Omaha Lancers (USHL)
Mitchell has spent the last three seasons in the top tier of juniors in the USHL, first with the Muskegon Lumberjacks before competing most of the last two years with Omaha. He nearly doubled his point total in his second season with the Lancers and led the team’s blueliners with 29 points on three goals and team-high 26 assists. He was selected to play in the 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospect Game, and he helped the U.S. win gold at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge (where he was a teammate of classmate Jack Malone). A product of HoneyBaked Hockey Club, Mitchell helped the U16 team reach the national tournament in 2016.
“Travis is another strong two-way defenseman,” Schafer said. “He can defend, but he can also get up into the play. He can really shoot the puck and he created some offense for his team last year in the USHL.”
Defenseman — 6-foot-3, 198 pounds — Toronto, Ontario — Penticton Vees (BCHL)
Regarded as a defensive stalwart, Muzyka had three assists in 39 games while endured a lengthy midseason absence due to injury last year in Penticton. His only season out west came after two strong seasons with the OJHL’s North York Rangers, where he was a key cog on a team defense that yielded a league-low 110 goals in 2017-18. He played in the Eastern Canada Cup tournament that year and was also selected to play in the CJHL Prospects Game.
“Peter does a great job defending,” Schafer said. “He has great feet, which allows him to defend against anyone he plays against to go with his size.”
Forward — 6-foot-2, 188 pounds — Halifax, Nova Scotia — St. Andrew’s College
Stienburg was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the third round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft last month with the 63th overall pick. It was the highest selection of a Cornell player since Riley Nash was picked in the first round in 2007. Stienburg joins the Big Red after racking up 71 goals and 89 assists for 160 points in 113 games over two seasons with St. Andrew’s College in Ontario – following in the footsteps of new teammates Morgan Barron and Matthew Galajda. He helped the Saints win the Canadian prep school national title, earning national and team MVP honors.
“He’s a really strong two-way forward,” Schafer said. “He adds that element of not just offense, but he can also impact the game with his physical play.”
Forward — 6-foot-3, 195 pounds — Collingwood, Ontario — Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL)
Ben Tupker was named to the 2019 CCHL Third All-Star Team with 56 points on a team-high 24 goals and 32 assists in 59 games last season with Carleton Place. He also won a bronze medal with the CCHL All-Star team at the 2018-19 Junior Club World Cup in Sochi, Russia. In 2017-18, Ben Tupker was invited to Team Canada East training camp for the World Junior A Challenge, and he was selected to play in the the CJHL Top Prospect Game. In his first of three seasons with Carleton Place, he helped the Canadians win the league title and advance to the Fred Page Cup finals. His twin brother, Zach, is also a part of the incoming class for Cornell men’s hockey.
“This is the fourth set of twins that I’ve had the opportunity to coach at Cornell,” Schafer said. “The Tupker brothers are tireless workers and great two-way players. They kill penalties and have played on the power play. They’re very, very tenacious as a set of forwards.”
Forward — 6-foot-1, 190 pounds — Collingwood, Ontario — Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL)
Zach Tupker was named to the 2019 CCHL First All-Star Team with a team-best 65 points on 24 goals and 41 assists in 65 games last season with Carleton Place. He also won a bronze medal with the CCHL All-Star team at the 2018-19 Junior Club World Cup in Sochi, Russia. In 2017, Zach competed with Team Canada East in the World Junior A Challenge, and he was selected to play in the the CJHL Top Prospect Game. In his first of three seasons with Carleton Place, he helped the Canadians win the league title and advance to the Fred Page Cup finals. Zach’s twin brother, Ben, is also a part of the incoming class for Cornell men’s hockey.