Denfeld News

July 23, 2008
Duluth Journal

Denfeld’s Hotchin is a big-time student-athlete
By Howie Hanson

Denfeld hockey standout Cody Hotchkin is a special two-way player — and an equally impressive student and citizen.

A 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior center, Hotchkin is one of the state’s best forwards and a legitimate Division I recruit. He’s a 4.0 student (on a 4.0 scale) and, perhaps as impressively, one of the most likeable young persons you’d be privileged to meet.

“My goal is to play for UMD,” Hotchkin said following a brisk summer workout at the Duluth Heritage Sports Center on Tuesday. “Playing for the Bulldogs is my first choice, for sure.”

The Bulldogs, Wisconsin and Harvard have reportedly expressed interest.

Last season, Hotchkin played out of position at right wing on one of the state’s most prolific lines, which featured crafty senior center Jake Johnson (27 goals, 77 points) and senior left wing Chris Stafne (40 goals, 77 points), one of the state’s best snipers.

Hotchkin, a varsity regular since his freshman season, had 20 goals and 50 points a year ago.

“We moved the puck and scored a lot of goals,” Hotchkin said of the high-powered line.

Hotchkin will need to step up his offensive game and leadership for the Hunters to be successful again this season.

“We’ll have more depth this year and won’t rely on just the one line,” he said. “We have three solid lines, and the guys have worked real hard this summer.”

Despite his size, Hotchkin considers himself a power forward. He has former Bulldogs Gary DeGrio-like speed.

“I like to play down low and, quite frankly, I’m not a pure goal-scorer,” he said. “I’m a garbage goal scorer, hopefully a sniper in close.”

Hotchkin plays both ends of the ice and is a tremendous team player, said incoming Hunters senior goaltender Matt Messina, a transfer from Marshall School.

“Cody goes up and down the ice 100 miles per hour, and plays with a lot of power,” Messina said. “Nobody I’ve seen compares with him, in this regard. He’ll be an impact player at the next level, for sure.”

Messina fills a major gap in the lineup for the Hunters.

“Matt is a proven puck-stopper — a huge, huge addition for us,” said Hotchkin.
If Messina had finished his high school career for Marshall, he likely would have split playing time with his good friend Willie Paul.

“I should get more playing time on a contender,” Messina said of joining the Hunters.

St. Cloud Cathedral, Hermantown and Denfeld will be favorites in Section 5A this season.

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