The UConn men’s ice hockey team has evolved into an elite program for college players over the last few seasons. The team went 20-12-2 overall in 2022-23, finishing in fourth place of the 11 teams in the Hockey East conference.
As the program continues to rise up the hierarchy of standout college hockey teams, UConn has seen an increase in premier talent make their way through Storrs. Most recently, sophomore Matthew Wood was selected with the 15th overall selection by the Nashville Predators in the 2023 National Hockey League Draft. Wood’s selection is the highest an NHL team has made for a former Husky, an indication that head coach Mike Cavanaugh has gone above and beyond to recruit talent to Connecticut.
In the upcoming campaign, the Ice Bus will welcome aboard seven new members: five incoming freshmen and two outside transfers. Here’s a quick look at the new faces on this year’s squad:
Ethan Haider, Senior, Goaltender
Haider comes to UConn after three seasons with Clarkson University. In 84 career college games, the former Golden Knight has allowed an average of 2.36 goals per game to opponents, good enough for a .910 save percentage. This past season, Haider played in 35 contests, averaging 2.51 goals to opponents per game (.906 save %). As a freshman, he was a finalist for ECAC Goalie of the Year and was named the ECAC Rookie of the Year. Before Clarkson, Haider was selected in the fifth round (148th overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators.
Haider and sophomore Arsenii Sergeev figure to see most of the action between the pipes after goalkeeper Logan Terness departed from Connecticut via the transfer portal this offseason, according to Mike Divver.
Ryan Mahshie, Graduate Student, Forward
Mahshie will spend his final year of college eligibility in Storrs after spending the last four years with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He played in parts of three seasons for RPI (COVID-19 canceled 2020-21), appearing in 85 games and scoring 24 goals. His best season came last year, when Mahshie tallied 22 points on 15 goals and seven assists. As a senior, he converted on a career-high .181 percent of his shots.
Oliver Flynn, Forward, Wolcott, Connecticut
Flynn is one of two freshmen who are Connecticut natives. Hailing from Wolcott, Flynn spent the 2022-23 season playing in the United States Hockey League. He appeared in 29 games for the Waterloo Black Hawks, scoring three goals and tallying four assists. He was traded to the Madison Capitols, where he played in 29 more games and racked up five goals and eight assists. Prior to his time in the USHL, Flynn attended the Loomis Chaffee School. In 24 games with them, Flynn converted 15 goals and 13 assists.
Joey Muldowney, Forward, Lake View, New York
Muldowney comes to Storrs a product of the Empire State. Last season, he played in the USHL for the Des Moines Buccaneers. He appeared in 61 games, scoring 15 goals to go with 14 assists for 29 total points. The year prior, Muldowney was a beast for Nichols School: In 56 games, he scored 57 goals and had 40 assists for a whopping 97 points.
Jake Richard, Forward, Jacksonville, Florida
Richard comes to UConn having already compiled an impressive resume of competitive play. He’s spent the last two seasons in the USHL, where he was a key contributor. In 2021-22 for the Muskegon Lumberjacks, Richard scored 48 points thanks to 18 goals and 30 assists. He split this past season with Muskegon and the Tri-City Storm; in total, he tallied 62 points on 31 goals and 31 assists. The only worry with Florida native is that the groggy Connecticut weather may slow him down.
Owen Simpson, Defenseman, Toronto, Canada
Simpson is the only UConn freshman who will be coming to Storrs from north of the border. The defender played this past season for the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League. In 54 games, Simpson scored four goals and assisted 12 times.
Bauer Swift, Defenseman, West Hartford, Connecticut
At 21 years old, Swift joins the Ice Bus with extensive experience playing in the North American Hockey League. He has played the past two seasons for the Lone Star Brahmas, where he was an alternate captain during the 2022-23 season. He played in 55 games that season, tallying a career-high 18 points on five goals and 13 assists. In two seasons for the Brahmas, Swift made 85 regular season appearances and 14 postseason appearances. Throughout his time, he scored seven goals and assisted 19 times.