Moving On: The Next Step for Cornell Men’s Hockey Seniors
With the 2016-17 Cornell Men’s Hockey season complete, it is time to look to next year, where the team expects to improve on their NCAA tournament appearance from this past season. There will be many new faces on next year’s squad due to the large amount of departing players; eight graduating seniors will be gone, six of whom have contracts to play somewhere next year, either in North America or in Europe. An additional four players have been drafted by NHL teams, and are currently weighing their options regarding whether or not to return to Cornell next year. Big Red Sports Network caught up with these players to talk about their plans for next year and beyond.
First up, this year’s senior class:
Patrick McCarron (A): Grand Rapid Griffins (AHL – Detroit Red Wings)
My goal is to play professional hockey for as long as I can. Obviously, my goal and dream is to play in the National Hockey League and I will pursue this dream for as long as possible. If this does not work out, then I will use my Cornell connections and degree to obtain a working position in my hometown of Toronto. For now anyways I plan on just focusing on my hockey career. In the future, I could see myself taking some online classes in my spare time but for now I think it is in my careers best interest to just focus on hockey.
Jeff Kubiak (A): Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL – New York Islanders)
I will begin playing professionally next fall in the AHL, and continue to work towards reaching my dream of playing in the NHL. Right now, and in the near future, I plan on just focusing on my hockey career. In order to reach your dream, you have to put your full foot forward, so I will being trying to pursue my hockey dream as long as I can. Whenever that opportunity is over, I’ll always have my degree in my back pocket to use down the road. With my Cornell degree, I hope to one day work for an accounting firm, and then sit for the CPA exam at some point. My parents own a public accounting firm in the Chicagoland area, so maybe one day I can take that over from them.
Mitch Gillam: Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL – Toronto Maple Leafs
I would hope to pursue the ultimate dream of making it to the NHL. It is a tough journey to get there but if I am able to prove myself at the different levels of professional hockey along the way, I can definitely see it happening. However hockey can only last so long, so for now I will be playing hockey as long as I possibly can with my Cornell degree waiting to be used at any moment. Regarding my Cornell degree in AAP of Urban and Regional Studies, I have talked to areas surrounding my home town of Peterborough Ontario in the planning departments and have several internships/jobs available after pursuing my dreams in hockey. I believe that my degree has set me up for a lifetime of opportunity in planning, wherever it may be.
Holden Anderson: Herlev Eagles (Denmark)
My aspirations have always been to play professional hockey, whether that be in North America or in Europe. Right now my goal for next year is to have a strong season[in Denmark] and put up some numbers that will allow me to continue to play and ideally make a career out of hockey. When my playing days are over I fully intend on using my Cornell degree and the network that I’ve established at Cornell in order to pursue my non-hockey goals. I’ve considered pursuing a master’s degree while playing, as early as this fall but for right now I want to put all my energy into hockey. Next year if I find that I have some extra time away from the rink I will definitely reconsider and perhaps start chipping away at a master’s degree in order to better myself for life after my sport.
Matt Buckles: Springfield Thunderbirds (AHL – Florida Panthers)
My goal with hockey, as It has been since I started playing the game when I was little, is to play in the National Hockey League. I am confident in myself and hope that my hard work and dedication eventually will get me there. My professional goals outside of hockey are to use my Economics degree and pursue a career in corporate finance, investment banking, or private equity (although I’m not sure exactly what I want to do yet). I want to eventually return to school to get an MBA, and would be interested in working in the summers. Ultimately, I want to find a job that I am interested in and that I can support my family with. For the next few years I plan on primarily focusing on my hockey career, as I believe that in order to be successful at something you must completely invest yourself in it.
The following are drafted underclassmen and their decisions for next year.
Jared Fiegl: Arizona Coyotes
I plan on coming back to Cornell for my senior year. I made this decision because I think one more year would help me develop into an even more pro-ready player. I also think it’s important to finish out school and get my degree.
Beau Starrett: Chicago Blackhawks
I want to come back to Cornell because first off, it brings me one year closer to my degree. And secondly, coming back and playing for Coach Schafer will help aid in my development as a player on the ice. There are still a few tools to my game that need improvement and staying at Cornell will help me learn all zones of the game better when I do decide to turn pro. So eventually when I leave this program I will be ready for pro hockey and what it takes to play.
Anthony Angello: Pittsburgh Penguins
I am coming back to Cornell for my junior year. I don’t know exactly when I’m going to join Pittsburgh, but I do know I am going to complete another year of school and play for the Big Red. I made the decision I did because I don’t believe I was 100% ready to make the jump yet. I will be able to improve my game here while making sure I am fully healed and capable of creating an impact when I leave.
Dwyer Tschantz: St. Louis Blues
I am coming back to Cornell for my senior season. I think we have a great group and I am excited to pursue a league and national championship next year. Cornell is a great place for me to develop as a player and another year will help give me the best chance to make an impact at the pro level.