BLOOMINGTON — Center Max Andreev of the Central Illinois Flying Aces has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Cornell University.
“It feels unbelievable,” Andreev said in a team news release Thursday. “I’m just excited to have the opportunity to play at one of the best hockey programs and to go to school at Cornell.”
Andreev, who was born in Moscow, becomes the 17th member of the Flying Aces with a D-I commitment.
“As soon as I came to the (U.S.), I talked to my adviser and I asked what my best chance was to play pro hockey,” Andreev said. “And he was like, ‘You should go to college. You’re a smart kid.’ ”
In his first USHL season, Andreev is tied for the league scoring lead with eight points (1 goal, 7 assists) with a point in all five games — the longest streak to start a season in team history.
He is one of two Flying Aces players with a commitment to an Ivy League school, joining defenseman Sebastian Dirven as a Cornell recruit.
“He’s worked very hard at his schooling and the transition from coming from Russia,” said first-year coach and general manager Mike Watt. “Cornell is obviously a very prestigious academic institution and for a player from Russia to be able to go there and play hockey at the same time is a credit to Max.”
The Flying Aces begin a three-game weekend Friday with a road game against the Dubuque Fighting Saints before playing two "home away from home" games in Peoria. Central Illinois will face Dubuque on Saturday afternoon and Waterloo on Sunday at Carver Arena.