Taylor Karr looks to provide a spark for the Waldorf University hockey team as the newest member of the program’s incoming recruiting class.
Karr, a 6-foot-3, 201-pound forward who played in the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) and Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL) the past two years, signed a letter of intent with the Warriors on Monday.
“Taylor is another big body who adds size and skill to our lineup,” said Waldorf assistant coach Carl Trosien, who was instrumental in recruiting Karr. “He is another prototypical power forward who has skill along with his size.”
Karr competed in the NOJHL during the 2015-16 season, playing for the Cochrane Crunch and French River Rapids. He provided a goal and an assist while appearing in 10 games for Cochrane. Karr racked up 20 points for French River, notching nine goals and contributing 11 assists in 27 contests.
Last season, Karr played in the WSHL. He registered six points for the Las Vegas Storm with three goals and three assists in 16 games. He turned in 14 points for the Butte Cobras as he scored six goals and dished out eight assists in 31 games.
“He has a proven resume in both the NOJHL and WSHL and we are excited to add him to the crop of freshmen we have coming in,” Trosien said. “We have an extremely deep recruiting class of forwards and camp will be very competitive as guys look to establish themselves.”
A Chilliwack native, Karr graduated from Sardis Secondary School in 2014. After two years in the junior hockey ranks, he’s excited to arrive in Forest City to begin his collegiate career.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play hockey at the collegiate level and to also get a degree while doing it,” Karr said.
Karr is the son of Paul and Gina Karr and Melinda and Scott Melenchuk. He plans to pursue a wellness degree at Waldorf and said the university feels like the best fit for his future. The Warriors joining the newly-formed National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division sanctioned by the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) is also something Karr is looking forward to when he arrives at Waldorf.
“It’s a fantastic school,” Karr said. “After talking with Coach Trosien, I knew Waldorf was the right place for me. I’m excited for the opportunity to play for Waldorf in a new league. I can’t wait to get things started and I’m looking forward to becoming a Warrior.”
Waldorf has been highly active in building a stacked 2017-18 recruiting class. Karr becomes the 11th member of the incoming recruiting class, joining Mission, British Columbia goaltender Jeffrey Veitch, who played in the NOJHL for the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners and Timmins Rock last season; Cape May, N.J. forward Alexei Pilatsky, who competed for the New England Stars in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) last year; Fort Frances, Ontario forward Josh Gouin, who played for the Fort Frances Lakers in the Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL) and the Steele County Blades in the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) Elite Division last season; Odessa, Texas forward Anthony Chavez from the Euless Jr. Stars in the NA3HL; Regina, Saskatchewan forward Kaden Hintz, who played for the French River Rapids in the NOJHL and the English River Miners in the SIJHL this past season; Houghton, Mich. goaltender Ryall Purdy, who spent last season with the Chicago Bulldogs in the NA3HL and the Ironwood Yoopers in the USPHL; Dominic Lamanno, a goaltender from Oceanside, N.Y. who also played for the New England Stars for two seasons; Quincy, Mass. forward Patrick Freeman; Reedsburg, Wis. defenseman Sean Teske and Elk River, Minn. forward Jaydn Munnelly. Freeman, Teske and Munnelly are former Dells Ducks standouts from the USPHL Elite Division.
The Warriors put together another successful showing last year, rolling to the program’s fifth consecutive season with at least 20 victories. They closed out the 2016-17 campaign with a 21-11-1 record, scoring nine wins over regionally-ranked opponents. During Waldorf’s final season in the Northern Collegiate Hockey League (NCHL), the Warriors posted a 9-3 conference record to claim the No. 2 seed in the NCHL Tournament and also secured their fourth straight trip to the ACHA Division II Central Region Tournament.
Waldorf starts the 2017-18 season with a pair of exhibition games, hosting the Chicago Cougars on Sept. 8 at Albert Lea, Minn. and then welcomes the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings to town the following night. The Warriors officially open the season in a home-and-home series with Iowa State University. Waldorf goes on the road against the Cyclones on Sept. 29 in a 7:30 p.m. matchup at Ames. The Warriors defend their home ice against Iowa State on Sept. 30 with a 7 p.m. drop of the puck at Albert Lea City Arena.
Karr will be expected to answer the call right from the start of his collegiate career and his new coaches are ready to watch him excel when he makes his Waldorf debut this season.
“We will be counting on Taylor to jump into our lineup and contribute immediately,” Trosien said. “We placed an emphasis on size and skill this recruiting cycle and Taylor fits that profile perfectly. We think he has an extremely high ceiling and we can’t wait to see what he does the next four years.”