When the Ivy League announced that they would not allow winter sports competition this year, college hockey lost out on one its best goaltenders and Matthew Galajda lost out on his fourth and final season at Cornell University. As Ivy League schools do not permit graduate student-athletes, the senior netminder knew he would have to depart Cornell to continue his NCAA career. This worked out to the benefit of Notre Dame University though, who announced today that Galajda has decided to join the Fighting Irish next season. While a year away from the game has quieted the buzz around Galajda’s game, there is no arguing that he has been one of the NCAA’s very best goaltenders in recent years. In three seasons at Cornell, Galadja was consistently outstanding. The 23-year-old has a stunning .930 save percentage and 1.60 GAA in his NCAA career to go along with a 60-15-9 record. With those numbers, Galajda will likely take on a workhorse role for Notre Dame and should be an upgrade to the departing Dylan St. Cyr. If the 2019-20 Mike Richter Award finalist can return to that same level of play after a year off and facing a more difficult Big Ten schedule, he will have plenty of NHL suitors this time next year.
- Ty Pelton-Byce of the University of Wisconsin was expected to be one of the top college free agents available to NHL teams this spring, but the Winnipeg Jets have been able to secure the talented forward on a minor league deal. The Jets’ affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, have announced that Pelton-Byce has signed an AHL contract for the 2021-22 season and will join the club on an amateur tryout agreement for the remainder of the year. The 23-year-old forward, who split his college career between the Badgers and the Harvard Crimson, is coming off a career year in which he recorded 31 points in 24 games. He helped to lead Wisconsin to the Big Ten regular season title and to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament this year. With good size and a well-developed game, Pelton-Byce should adjust well to the pro game and could be pushing for an NHL deal in no time.
- It was expected that Boston Bruins prospect Jack Becker would return to school for a somewhat unprecedented fifth season of college hockey and now the move is official. Craig Morgan of AZ Coyotes Insider reports that Becker has committed as a graduate transfer to Arizona State University. The Sun Devils add an experienced two-way forward who captained the University of Michigan this season and has 124 NCAA games under his belt. Whether Becker will try to turn pro – and whether the Bruins will still want him – after a fifth college season remains to be seen. The 2015 draft pick will turn 25 years old before the 2022-23 season begins.