Just one day after signing the leading goal scorer in the NCAA, the Colorado Avalanche have dipped into the undrafted free agent pool again.
This time, they’ve signed defenseman Sam Malinski out of Cornell University. This should come as a shock to absolutely nobody, but Malinski was the Captain of Cornell this year, which happened to be his senior season.
Malinski fills a massive need on the blueline for the Avalanche. He’s a right shot defenseman, something they lost when they traded away the likes of Justin Barron and Drew Helleson last season. He will report to the Colorado Eagles immediately on a professional tryout contract, with his two-year, entry level contract kicking in next season.
Malinski, 24, is coming off his best season at Cornell, where he recorded 26 points in 34 games. Malinski earned First-Team All-ECAC honors for the second straight year, the first Cornell defenseman to be named to the conference’s first team in consecutive seasons since 2003 (Douglas Murray). He appeared in 91 career games with the Big Red from 2019-23, totaling 65 points (17g/48a).
Take a look at some of his highlights from this season at Cornell, and a look the tracking data on the defenseman.
Malinski's on the older side and doesn't score much at even strength. But NCAA FAs rarely have his level of skill and intelligence.
The tracking data's strong, too. Top-end defensive impact, creates in sustainable ways. Likely scores a lot more in a different structure. pic.twitter.com/N2z69D8J8A
— Mitchell Brown (@MitchLBrown) February 21, 2023