When the Colby College hockey team reached the NCAA Division III Frozen Four last season, one of the sport’s power players on the West Coast was reduced to the role of cheerleader.

“I had my colors on. I had my hat on,” said Judd Moldaver, a Toronto native who played for the Mules from 2000-2004. “I was fired up.”

In fairness, Moldaver’s name might not resonate to many on Mayflower Hill. In a career besieged by injuries, he scored just six goals in 35 games for Colby.

It’s in the National Hockey League where Moldaver’s name carries plenty of weight.

Moldaver, the senior vice president of hockey at Wasserman/Orr Hockey, is the agent who negotiated Auston Matthews’ five-year contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs last month. That $58 million deal made the Phoenix-born Matthews — the 2016-17 Calder Trophy winner as the NHL’s top rookie — the second-highest paid player in the league, in a city that follows its Maple Leafs more closely than the Queen.

“No doubt, from growing up as a Torontonian, I know what the Maple Leafs mean to the city of Toronto and province of Ontario and Leafs fans around the country,” Moldaver said. “I lived through that mentality. You can call it serendipity, or luck, that of all the places Auston got drafted it was the city of Toronto.


“Knowing what (hockey) means there doesn’t hurt.”

Hockey has meant plenty to Moldaver.

He did an internship with a sports agency during his Colby years, and he realized early his calling came from marrying his interests in hockey and business. He moved to Los Angeles almost immediately after graduating from Colby in 2004, and he’s not looked back since.

Last summer, he left Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for Wasserman/Orr, when Wasserman bought a significant stake in Bobby Orr’s agency bearing his name. Wasserman represents more than 3,000 athletes, including ones in all four major sports, professional golf, action sports and the Olympics. Names like Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees), Russell Westbrook (Okalahoma City Thunder), Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts) and Rickie Fowler (PGA golfer) dot Wasserman’s client list.

On the hockey side, Wasserman/Orr represents two of the brightest young stars in the game in Matthews and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, who hold the two priciest contracts in the NHL. Along with colleagues Jeff Jackson and Dave Gagner, Moldaver also works with Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy, as well as Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators, Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers and Alex DeBrincat of the Chicago Blackhawks.

“If you told me 15 years ago, a nerdy kid from Toronto, that I’d be paired with people like Jeff and Dave and representing someone like Auston, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Moldaver said. “I always had a passion for the game. If I couldn’t play at the highest level, I knew that I still wanted to be involved. I’m a fan of many sports, but hockey has had the biggest impact on my life. It’s had the biggest impact, both personally and professionally. I’m indebted to everyone who’s helped me get here to where I am now.”


Moldaver isn’t joking when he says he remembers every one of his six collegiate goals. He’s also not joking when he says what he learned at Colby helped him build the foundation for his career as a hockey agent.

Shoulder injuries cut significantly into Moldaver’s playing time at Colby. He’d liked to have played more games for a team that won 62 of them during his four years on campus — and recently ribbed former Colby head coach and current Harvard assistant Jim Tortorella about his minutes when the pair crossed paths in Boston.  

“A lot of my experience as a player at the D-III level prepared me, though I probably didn’t know it at the time, to understand the player mentality,” Moldaver said. “Having two shoulder dislocations, a couple of separations, and going through that experience as a player, growing up as a person and trying to be an athlete at college level — you take your playing experience, both good and bad, and wrap it into one. That’s all from my time at the campus.”

Moldaver is still connected to many of his former Colby teammates. Some he talks to frequently, some infrequently, and some he wishes he’d make time to reconnect with. There’s a bond that comes from sharing a tiny dressing room at Alfond Rink — or any rink, at any level within the game of hockey — which is hard to replicate outside the game.

“I miss the guys. All of them,” Moldaver said. “That’s not to say I don’t miss being a student, but I missed being immersed in it with the other players on the team. I miss that. It’s thinking about practice, trying to get better, trying to win games on the road, trying to win games at home and all the funny stuff that goes on in the locker room.

“I still call myself an honorary Mainer. I’m proud of my association with Colby. I’m very proud to have been a Colby Mule, very proud of my time there. I want to do all I can to see Colby hockey stays strong, because I’m proud to say I’m an alumnus. I think my story, whether you’re a hockey fan or not, is about people following their passions.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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