Tyler Mugford says that this is a year-old photo, which is a shame if you like hockey players with a shaggy mane flowing out from beneath their helmet, but good if you are a child who has lost their hair to illness or chemotherapy.
The 24-year-old forward, who recently signed with the Reign, offered proceeds from his haircut to Locks of Love, a charity that provides donated hair to children in need. Mugford, who graduated from Cornell in May, downplayed the similarity to fellow Ivy Leaguer George Parros, a Princeton alum playing for the Anaheim Ducks, who shears his hair every year and donates it to charity.
“It wasn’t a big publicity thing, I just happened to do it,” Mugford said. “I did it quietly. I didn’t care to make a big deal out of it, don’t want to make it a tradition — (having long hair) was such a pain, to be honest.”
Consider the citizenship test passed. As for the hockey test, like most players, Karl Taylor has not seen Mugford play in person. But the coach likes Mugford’s pedigree.
“He’s a big, strong Saskatchewan kid,” Taylor said. “He’s been taught well under [head coach Mike] Schafer at Cornell. I think he’s going to be a good pro.”
Schafer’s conservative, trapping system is not unlike Taylor’s, who called it “me-times-five defensive hockey … boring, boring, boring.” Mugford thrived in it, and was named ECAC defensive player of the year as a senior.
“That’s been my role the last couple years,” he said. “Defense first, penalty kill, in-your-face type forward. I cause trouble here and there, all part of the game.”
Although Mugford came to Cornell as a center, he was shifted primarily to left wing the next four years. He also played right wing as a senior and even spent time on the blue line during penalty-kill shifts. Just don’t expect too much offense from Mugford; he scored five goals and nine points in 31 games last season for the Red.
“We don’t know that he’s going to put up bigger numbers in pro than he did in college,” Taylor said. “You never know about the college guys. We expect him to play hard.”
Here is a feature on Mugford from his home town of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.