July 23, 2008
Denfeld’s Hotchin is a big-time
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,
The Bulldogs, Wisconsin and Harvard have reportedly
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
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
“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
“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.