Category Archives: Class of 2019

Get to know the Princeton hockey class of 2019 – Spencer Kryczka, Ryan Kuffner, Alex Riche, Austin Shaw, Josh Teves and Max Veronneau – through Q&As.

Getting To Know the Freshmen Tigers: Max Veronneau

Max Veronneau Freshman Q&AMax Veronneau spent the last two seasons playing in the CCHL with fellow freshman Ryan Kuffner. During the 2013-14 season, Veronneau finished fifth in CCHL scoring, netting 80 points (41g, 39a) over 61 games. The forward was invited to the Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge but missed the games due to an injury, something that also cost him much of the season. When the forward did play, he recorded 40 points (17g, 23a) in 33 games. In total. Veronneau had 123 points (59g, 64a) in 98 games.

Eye On The Tigers caught up with Veronneau to see what the incoming freshman had to say:

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Why did you choose Princeton University?

I chose Princeton University because it is an amazing opportunity to play Division 1 hockey while studying at one of the most renowned schools in the world. After touring the campus and meeting the new coaching staff, I knew that this is a unique opportunity and the right choice for me.

What are you most looking forward to?

I am looking forward to experiencing what Princeton University has to offer. From the diversity of my fellow classmates to being a Princeton Tiger, I am truly excited about the next four years.

When did you get into hockey? What’s your earliest memory?

I started skating when I was three and began playing hockey one year later. My earliest memory is playing at the Canadian Tire Center (where the Ottawa Senators play) for a special community event that was held for four and five-year-olds. It was a lot of fun playing in such a big arena.

What NHL team did you grow up rooting for and why?

Having been born and raised in Ottawa, the Senators are my favorite team. The Sens have been a very entertaining team to watch over the years, and the community rallies around its players, from the best defender in the NHL – Erik Karlsson – to last year’s goalie phenom Andrew “the Hamburglar” Hammond.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in hockey?

Growing up, I was always one of the youngest and smallest players on my team. When I was younger, I was cut a few times. The disappointment acted as an incentive for me to push harder and keep developing my skills. Everything finally came together when I was 17. Perseverance pays off in the end.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen when playing hockey?

The strangest thing I’ve seen while playing hockey occurred at the Ontario Major Peewee Provincial Championships in Thunder Bay, Ont. Our team had to win in order to qualify for the playoffs. I had a great game, putting the puck in the net 4 times. Unfortunately, the referees inexplicably disallowed three of my goals and we ended up losing 6-4. It was a long trip home.

Who’s the most influential person in your hockey career?

My parents are the most influential people in my life and hockey career. They have always supported me through thick and thin and have sacrificed a lot of their time to allow me to pursue my hockey dream. They believed in me and let me pursue hockey even when it was difficult and challenging. I would not be at Princeton today if it wasn’t for them.

What’s the most exciting experience you’ve ever had?

The most exciting experience I have had is – of course – a hockey experience. In Major Peewee, we were in the League Championship final series against the heavily favored Ottawa Valley Titans. The Titans had dominated the season. Our team managed to push the series to the final, seventh game. The arena was packed, it felt like the entire city of Ottawa was there. The game was tied after regulation time expired. The first 2 overtime periods decided nothing. After many long hours, the game eventually ended in the third overtime period, when, after killing a penalty, our team scored the winning goal on a breakaway. I remember it vividly – it was the most exciting game I have ever played.

What do you plan on majoring in/what are your academic interests?

I plan on majoring in either Mechanical Engineering or Operations Research and Financial Engineering. They both intrigue me and I am looking forward to discovering more about these and the rest of the engineering majors.

What do you hope your legacy at Princeton University will be?

I would like to be remembered as a person who exemplifies the characteristics of a Princeton Tiger, both on and off the ice. Being viewed by my peers as someone who is determined, dedicated, and hardworking and a team player, especially when times get tough. Finally, I also hope to be remembered as one of the players who helped bring the National Championship to Hobey Baker Arena.

Previous Q&A: Alex Riche | Spencer Kryczka | Josh Teves | Austin Shaw | Ryan Kuffner

See also: Princeton announces 2015-16 incoming freshmen

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Getting To Know the Freshmen Tigers: Ryan Kuffner

Ryan Kuffner Freshman Q&ARyan Kuffner was one of the leading scorers in the CCHL last year, finishing with 70 points (49g, 33 assists) over 49 games – good for eighth in the league. As an assistant captain, Kuffner helped the Gloucester Rangers to a playoff appearance, and earned a spot at the Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge, and made Canada East for the WJAC. Over 101 games with the Rangers, Kuffner netted 115 points (55g, 60a).

Eye On The Tigers caught up with Kuffner to see what the incoming freshman had to say:

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Why did you choose Princeton University?

I was beyond excited when I was recruited by Princeton! I know that Princeton is one of the best universities worldwide with an exceptional undergraduate program. After visiting campus and spending some time with the hockey team, I knew in my heart that Princeton was the best for me. It’s beautiful campus, inclusive, supportive culture and amazing hockey program will develop me athletically, academically and personally.

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to attending a world-class university to build on my passions for hockey, finance and community involvement. I can’t wait to step on the ice and represent Princeton as a Tiger!

When did you get into hockey? What’s your earliest memory?

I started skating, like many Canadians, on my backyard rink that my dad built each December for my brother, me and all of our friends. My earliest memories are of watching hockey on Saturday nights with my grandparents, who were avid fans.

What NHL team did you grow up rooting for and why?

I have been a Toronto Maple Leafs fan for most of my life, especially after my Grandma gave me a Leafs jersey one Christmas!

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in hockey?

My biggest challenge in hockey was watching my friend and teammate get terribly injured at the World Junior A tournament. Neil Doef and I were roommates and linemates playing for Team Canada East sharing our dreams of playing hockey and attending Princeton. In an instant so much changed when Neil sustained a spinal cord injury. Since then, I have admired Neil’s courage, determination and positive outlook and have been inspired by him to address my own challenges and be the best that I can be whether it’s athletically, academically or personally.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen when playing hockey?

I saw one of my teammates end his scoreless drought by scoring eight goals in a single game!

Who’s the most influential person in your hockey career?

This is an easy question. My parents, Joe and Deb, have always been there for me through the ups and downs of playing hockey, from getting to the rink for 6 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday, to always being positive when my brother and I would have to each play two hockey games with our spring travel teams on the same day as having two soccer games with our soccer clubs. I really can’t thank them enough for the countless hours that they have given to support our dreams.

What’s the most exciting experience you’ve ever had?

My most exciting experience was being on safari with my family in Africa. The lions, giraffes, rhinos and elephants in such close proximity took my breath away. A close second to this was being selected to represent Canada East at the World Junior A tournament.

What do you plan on majoring in/what are your academic interests?

My plan is to major in Economics and obtain a Certificate in Finance. The combination of mathematics, economics and financial markets fascinates me. I am looking forward to studying and nurturing these passions at Princeton!

What do you hope your legacy at Princeton University will be?

I hope that I will be remembered as a great teammate, friend, and leader who gave it his all both on and off the ice. I also hope to be remembered as having made a difference in fulfilling Princeton’s destiny to win the Frozen Four tournament.

Other Class of 2019 Q&As: Alex Riche | Spencer Kryczka | Josh Teves | Austin Shaw | Max Veronneau

See also: Princeton announces 2015-16 incoming freshmen

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Getting To Know the Freshmen Tigers: Austin Shaw

Austin Shaw joins Princeton as the only goaltender in the class. The 19-year-old fought his way onto the Wichita Falls Wildcats last season, and his performance early on earned him interest from schools. The 6-foot-4 goaltender played in 48 games with the Wildcats and recorded a .902 save percentage.

Eye On The Tigers caught up with Shaw to see what the incoming freshman had to say:

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Why did you choose Princeton University?

I chose Princeton University because I not only had the chance to be a part of an awesome hockey program, but be a part of a world-renowned university. The coaching staff always showed a lot of interest in me, and after visiting the campus in November I was sold.

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Princeton community and also be involved in what will be the turning point for Tiger hockey for the upcoming years. Having the chance to work beside and learn with some of the brightest minds is also very appealing to me.

When did you get into hockey? What’s your earliest memory?

I was always around hockey because my cousins and father played. I started roller hockey when I was about six and then started ice hockey when I was 10. Some of my earliest memories are learning to skate at the University of Denver and having a chance to interact with some of the players when I was about five.

What NHL team did you grow up rooting for and why?

I grew up as an Avs fan. It was always fun to follow guys like Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy, and to see them around the rink now too is especially cool. Hopefully they have a good run this upcoming season.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in hockey?

The biggest challenge I faced in hockey would have to be breaking into the AAA level. Up through my Bantam years I always played AA and never made the AAA teams. Once I did, I felt a major sense of accomplishment.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen when playing hockey?

The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me would have to be this past season in a game against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (South Texas). Midway through the second period during a penalty kill, I began to slip around the crease and almost fell out of the way of a shot from the point. Within seconds I finally looked down to discover that the plastic sheet that puts the design of the crease in the ice was actually up on top of the ice surface. At that point they had to cancel the game because the humidity and heat outside made it impossible for the ice to freeze quickly. Later in the year we had to play four and a half periods to make up for the game.

Who’s the most influential person in your hockey career?

My parents are the most influential people in my hockey career. They’ve given up a lot and made huge sacrifices to support me as I pursued my goals. Their own work ethic has set an example for me and my sister, and without their support I don’t know where I’d be today.

What’s the most exciting experience you’ve ever had?

The most exciting thing I’ve ever done in life would be sailing on a catamaran in Mexico with my dad. I’ve always found sailing to be an exhilarating experience and every time I go I have the same feeling.

What do you plan on majoring in/what are your academic interests?

I plan on majoring in economics and hopefully going into finance. I’ve always been good at math, but unfortunately science and engineering isn’t as interesting to me so I’m hoping that those skills will aid me as I pursue my major.

What do you hope your legacy at Princeton University will be?

I hope that I am remembered as a hard working and friendly individual that helped lead people on and off the ice. I think this will also be a big turning point for Princeton hockey, so I’m very excited to be a part of the hockey team these next four years.

Other Class of 2019 Q&As: Alex Riche | Spencer Kryczka | Josh Teves | Ryan Kuffner | Max Veronneau

See also: Princeton announces 2015-16 incoming freshmen

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Getting To Know the Freshmen Tigers: Josh Teves

Josh Teves worked his way up from the KIJHL to the BCHL, where he played two games with Merritt in 2013-14. He continued with the Centennials for the 2014-15 season, appearing in 61 games and recording 35 points (5g, 30a). The defensemen also won the RBC National Junior A Scholarship.

Eye On The Tigers caught up with Teves to see what the incoming freshman had to say:

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Why did you choose Princeton University?

I chose Princeton because it was an unbelievable opportunity not only on the ice but also in the classroom. I liked the coaching staff after meeting them in November and after my visit to the spectacular campus, it felt like the right fit for me. I am thrilled to arrive on campus and begin this exciting four-year college experience.

What are you most looking forward to?

I am looking forward to joining the diverse group of students lucky enough to attend the prestigious university and experience all the school has to offer. I am also very excited to join a team on the rise and help be a part of Tiger Hockey success in the years to come.

When did you get into hockey? What’s your earliest memory?

I first started skating when I was about four years old and started competitive hockey at age five. One of my earliest memories is skating with my mom on an outdoor rink wearing bob skates (skates with two blades on each foot) strapped to my snow boots. I still have this picture framed in my room.

What NHL team did you grow up rooting for and why?

I grew up a Flames fan after being born and raised in Calgary, but in recent years I have started following the Montreal Canadiens. They have such a great history and culture, it’s hard not to like them. I am also a big PK Subban fan, so that was one of the reasons I started cheering for the Habs. It’s always interesting when the Canadiens play the Flames- I’m a little torn.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in hockey?

I was a bit of a late bloomer so I have always been one of the smallest guys on the team, especially as a defenseman. That resulted in me being cut from a lot of teams and having to work that much harder to keep moving up. It’s been an uphill journey making it to the NCAA as a small defenseman, but it has shaped me into the player I am today. I have learned how to play larger than my size and to keep working, and I think those characteristics will help me in the future as well.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen when playing hockey?

The strangest thing I’ve ever seen playing hockey is when I was playing Junior B hockey in British Columbia. The opposing team played the Classified rap version of Oh Canada instead of the national anthem. We were all cracking up as they just let the song play through until the end. Definitely the strangest national anthem I’ve been a part of.

Who’s the most influential person in your hockey career?

The most influential people in my hockey career would be my parents. They have always inspired me to do my best and taught me to work hard for what I want. They have made tremendous sacrifices to allow me to pursue my hockey goals, and along with my brother and sister I would not be where I am today without them. With my brother and I both being hockey players, I think my sister has watched enough hockey games to be a scout by now. I owe my family a lot for pushing me to keep working and supporting me with everything I do.

What’s the most exciting experience you’ve ever had?

The most exciting experience I’ve ever had was during a sailing trip off Vancouver Island in British Columbia. A male killer whale charged our boat, went under the water just before it, then came up and breached just five feet beside the boat. It was an amazing moment being able to see up close such a powerful and beautiful animal in its natural habitat.

What do you plan on majoring in/what are your academic interests?

I plan on Majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Academically I am interested in physics and understanding how things work, so I am excited to join the Engineering faculty and let my curiosity run wild.

What do you hope your legacy at Princeton University will be?

I hope my legacy at Princeton University will be that I was one of the members of the hockey team that helped bring the team success and started a new era of Tiger dominance. Furthermore, I want to leave students and faculty with the memories of a hardworking and kind individual who embodied the Princeton culture in everything he did.

Other Class of 2019 Q&As: Alex Riche | Spencer Kryczka | Austin Shaw | Ryan Kuffner | Max Veronneau

See also: Princeton announces 2015-16 incoming freshmen

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Getting To Know the Freshmen Tigers: Spencer Kryczka

Spencer Kryczka Freshman Q&ASpencer Kryczka spent the last four years playing in the AJHL, where he split his time between Okotok and Camrose. In his last season, Kryczka appeared in 61 games with Camrose and recorded a career-high 40 points (17g, 23a), helping Camrose to the AJHL playoffs. The Calgary, Alb., native finished his AJHL career with 91 points (38g, 53a) over 242 games.

Eye On The Tigers caught up with Kryczka to see what the incoming freshman had to say:

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Why did you choose Princeton University?

I chose Princeton University because it has world-renowned education and because the hockey program showed the most interest in me, more than any other hockey program in the NCAA. After a visit to Princeton, I was absolutely sold. The campus, the culture and the hockey atmosphere made it an easy decision for me.

What are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to experiencing the culture of college, especially such a special place like Princeton. I cannot wait to put on the skates and the don the Princeton Tiger colours in such a historic rink like Hobey Baker.

When did you get into hockey? What’s your earliest memory?

I began playing hockey when I was about three years old. My earliest memory is playing on the outdoor rink, learning to skate by holding onto a pylon and having my dad teach me how to push off correctly.

What NHL team did you grow up rooting for and why?

I grew up rooting for the Calgary Flames. Being from Calgary, and having my entire family and many friends cheering for the same team is a great thing and watching them play live at the Saddledome is something I will always cherish.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in hockey?

By far the biggest challenge I faced playing hockey was being sent down half way through a hockey season. I was playing Midget AAA as an underage and after about 20 games out of 30 total, they decided to send me down to play with kids my own age. It was heartbreaking, as I felt like I had failed. It helped me grow and develop mental toughness, and I think that without that experience I wouldn’t be heading in the direction I am today.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen when playing hockey?

While playing against the Brooks Bandits, I was still with the Okotoks Oilers. One of my good friends Mitch Collett, who will be playing for Holy Cross next year, got a puck stuck in between his nose and his visor. He was skating around during play with the puck attached to his face, and our entire bench just cracked up. Hilarious and strange moment.

Who’s the most influential person in your hockey career?

My dad is the most influential person in my hockey career. He has always supported me in every decision I make and is there to talk hockey or just support me when I need it.

What’s the most exciting experience you’ve ever had?

With hockey being a major part of my life I am going to go with a hockey experience. I would have to say scoring a hat-trick in game 6 of the past South Alberta Final in the AJHL would be one of if not the most exciting events of my life.

What do you plan on majoring in/what are your academic interests?

I plan on majoring in Engineering, I have always been a math and science guy, and figured that this would be a good combination and something that will be useful in the future.

What do you hope your legacy at Princeton University will be?

I want my legacy to be someone who was a hard-worker, someone who was a leader on and off the ice, and someone who helped to lead Princeton hockey back to the top, and hopefully a championship.

Other Class of 2019 Q&As: Alex Riche | Josh Teves | Austin Shaw | Ryan Kuffner | Max Veronneau

See also: Princeton announces 2015-16 incoming freshmen

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Getting To Know the Freshmen Tigers: Alex Riche

Alex Riche Freshman Q&AAlex Riche joins Princeton hockey after spending his last two seasons in the OJHL. After playing one game for Oakville in 2012-13, Riche joined Milton the next season, recording 58 points (20g, 38a) over 56 games. He began the 2014-15 season with Milton, and was traded to Cobourg early in the season. Through 62 games last year, the Oakville, Ont., native recorded 59 points (25g, 34a). Riche finished his OJHL career with 117 points (45g, 72a) over 119 games and was also named to the CJHL Prospects Game.

Eye On The Tigers caught up with Riche to see what the incoming freshman had to say:

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Why did you choose Princeton University?

I chose Princeton because of the opportunity to get to play college hockey at the highest level along with getting a great education from a great university.

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m most looking forward to meeting my new teammates and hopefully having a great season and school year.

When did you get into hockey? What’s your earliest memory?

I got into hockey by watching Hockey Night in Canada on TV as a young kid and wanted to play myself.

What NHL team did you grow up rooting for and why?

I grew up rooting for the Detroit Red Wings because Steve Yzerman was my all-time favorite hockey player.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in hockey?

In my early teens I had a tough time when I ran into a couple years of bad luck injuries.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen when playing hockey?

The strangest thing was one time during the pre-game national anthem, one player from the opposing team started skating around less than halfway through the anthem

Who’s the most influential person in your hockey career?

The most influential people in my hockey career are my parents due to their sacrifice and all the help they’ve provided me.

What’s the most exciting experience you’ve ever had?

My most exciting life experience would probably be vacationing in Nevada and seeing the Grand Canyon

What do you plan on majoring in/what are your academic interests?

I plan on majoring in Math or Economics, and my academic interests are data management and analysis.

What do you hope your legacy at Princeton University will be?

I guess I would want my legacy to be a good hockey player, student and friend and hopefully have a NCAA hockey championship

Other Class of 2019 Q&As: Spencer Kryczka | Josh Teves | Austin Shaw | Ryan Kuffner | Max Veronneau

See also: Princeton announces 2015-16 incoming freshmen

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