NCAA prospects notebook for March, 2014

By DJ Powers

Shayne Gostisbehere - Union College

Photo: Union College defenseman and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Shayne Gostisbehere earned a pair of ECAC awards this season in addition to being named a Hobey Baker Award top 10 finalist (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

In the final 2013-14 edition of the NCAA prospect notebook, Hockey’s Future takes a look back at some fantastic finishes, memorable performances, and other items making news around college hockey. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of April 3, 2014.

Hobey Hat Trick finalists announced

St. Lawrence University senior Greg Carey (PHX), St. Cloud State University senior Nic Dowd (LAK) and Boston College junior Johnny Gaudreau (CGY) have been named this year’s Hobey Hat Trick finalists.

Carey, a Hobey Baker Award top 10 finalist last year, was part of one of the nation’s most prolific lines at St. Lawrence this season. The Hamilton, ON native finished his senior campaign with 57 points (18 goals, 39 assists) in 38 games. He made his mark on the Saints power play where he earned 31 of his 57 points, which ranks first in the nation. Carey signed a free agent contract with the Phoenix Coyotes on March 19th.

Dowd was a driving force behind St. Cloud State’s NCAA Tournament run and successfully led the Huskies to the NCHC’s first regular season title. The Huntsville, AL native finishes the season leading St. Cloud State with 22 goals and finished second with 40 points in 38 games. His 10 power play tallies are currently tied for first among all NHL-drafted collegians. Dowd holds the distinction of being the first-ever Hobey Hat Trick finalist to hail from the state of Alabama. Dowd signed with the Los Angeles Kings on April 1st.

For the second consecutive year, Gaudreau has been named a Hobey Hat Trick finalist. The Carneys Point, NJ native currently leads the nation in a number of categories including points (77), goals (35) and plus/minus (+41) in 39 games to date. Gaudreau is on pace to potentially reach the 80-point plateau before the season ends. Should he accomplish the feat, Gaudreau will become the first player to do so in over a decade. Former Colorado College standout Peter Sejna was the last player to reach the 80-point mark when he finished the 2002-03 season with 82 points and was named the winner of the Hobey Baker Award.

The Hobey Hat Trick was pared down from the 10 finalists that were announced in mid-March. The other top 10 finalists were Nebraska-Omaha junior Josh Archibald (PIT), Ohio State junior Ryan Dzingel (OTT), Union College junior defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI), Boston College senior Kevin Hayes (CHI), and Minnesota sophomore goaltender Adam Wilcox (TBL). Rounding out the group are two undrafted junior goaltenders, Ferris State’s C.J. Motte and Wisconsin’s Joel Rumpel.

The winner of the 2014 Hobey Baker Award will be announced on Friday, April 11th during the Frozen Four in Philadelphia, PA and will be carried live online at 6pm EST on NHL.com and on the Hobey Baker website (www.hobeybaker.com).

Four for Philadelphia

Boston College, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Union College comprise this year’s Frozen Four field.

Union College was the first team to punch in their ticket after winning the East Regional. The Dutchmen defeated Vermont and Providence College, respectively.

North Dakota successfully knocked off Wisconsin and Ferris State to win the Midwest Regional. North Dakota is the only fourth-seeded team in the regionals to advance to the Frozen Four.

Boston College routed Denver and earned a hard-fought victory over UMass Lowell to win the Northeast Regional.

Minnesota was the final team to punch their ticket to the Frozen Four after posting convincing wins over Robert Morris and St. Cloud State to win the West Regional.

The Frozen Four takes place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. The semi-final games take place on April 10th and the National Championship game takes place on April 12th.

Gaudreau named 62nd recipient of Walter Brown Award

Boston College junior Johnny Gaudreau was named the winner of the 62nd Walter Brown Award. The award recognizes the top American-born player playing at a New England-based college/university. Gaudreau becomes the 24th overall and second consecutive player from Boston College to win the award. Steven Whitney won the award last year.

Three prospects among finalists for Mike Richter Award

The five finalists for the inaugural Mike Richter Award have been announced and among them are three NHL prospects. The finalists are Denver senior Sam Brittain (FLA), UMass Lowell sophomore Connor Hellebuyck (WPG), Wisconsin junior Joel Rumpel, Minnesota sophomore Adam Wilcox and Northeastern junior Clay Witt. The award, sponsored by Let’s Play Hockey and the Herb Brooks Foundation, annually recognizes college hockey’s top goaltender.

The winner of this year’s Mike Richter Award will be announced during the Frozen Four in Philadelphia, PA.

Hellebuyck sets new school record

On March 21st versus Notre Dame in the Hockey East Tournament semi-final game, sophomore Connor Hellebuyck set another UMass Lowell record. In that game, he stopped all 35 shots that he faced en route to earning his fifth shutout of the season. The shutout was also the 11th of Hellebuyck’s career, setting a new school record. Although the River Hawks' season came to an end in the NCAA Tournament’s Northeast Regional, Hellebuyck continues to lead the nation in goals against average (1.79) and save percentage (.941). The Commerce, MI native finishes the season with an 18-9-2 record that includes six shutouts in 29 appearances. Hellebuyck backstopped UMass Lowell to their second consecutive Hockey East Tournament championship and was named the MVP. He became the first player in the tournament’s history to be named the Most Valuable Player in consecutive years.

It can wait

With a number of collegians, drafted or otherwise, leaving the college ranks early to sign pro contracts, a trio of prospects with the Miami RedHawks have bucked the trend, opting to return this coming fall. Sophomores Riley Barber (WSH) and Sean Kuraly (SJS), and junior Blake Coleman (NJD) will be returning to Oxford, OH next season. For Miami, that’s good news. The RedHawks are coming off of a strong finish in the NCHC tournament that followed a disastrous regular season. Barber, Kuraly, and Coleman accounted for a combined 34% of Miami’s scoring this season, and finished second, third and fourth respectively on the team.

Handing out the hardware

Minnesota sophomore Adam Wilcox was named the Big Ten’s Player and Goaltender of the Year. The South St. Paul, MN native currently leads all NHL-drafted goaltenders with 25 wins and a .778 winning percentage.

Wilcox’s teammate, sophomore defenseman Mike Reilly (CBJ), was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. The Chanhassen, MN native currently leads all NHL-drafted defensemen with 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists) in 39 games.

Michigan freshman J.T. Compher (BUF) was named the Big Ten Rookie of the Year. The Northbrook, IL native finished the season leading the Wolverines with 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) in 35 games.

St. Lawrence senior Greg Carey and Union College junior defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere were named the ECAC’s Co-Players of the Year. Carey finished the season leading the Saints with 57 points (18 goals, 39 assists) in 38 games. Gostisbehere, who was also named the ECAC’s Co-Defensive Defenseman of the Year, currently ranks second on the team in defensive scoring with 29 points (eight goals, 21 assists) in 40 games to date.

Sharing the ECAC’s Defensive Defenseman of the Year honor with Gostisbehere is Brown senior defenseman Dennis Robertson (CAR). The Fort St. John, BC native finished the season leading the Bears in defensive scoring with 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 30 games.

For the second consecutive season, Boston College junior Johnny Gaudreau was named the Hockey East Player of the Year. Gaudreau became just the third player and first since 1998 to receive the honor in consecutive years. Gaudreau also won the Hockey East scoring title with 36 points (18 goals, 18 assists) in 20 conference games.

Gaudreau’s linemate, senior Bill Arnold (CGY), was named the Hockey East Co-Defensive Forward of the Year. The Needham, MA native currently ranks third nationally with 38 assists and has posted 52 points overall in 39 games to date.

Northeastern junior defenseman Josh Manson (ANA) was named Hockey East’s Best Defensive Defenseman of the Year. The Prince Albert, SK native finished the season with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) and led the Huskies with 65 penalty minutes in 33 games.

Nebraska-Omaha junior Josh Archibald was named the NCHC’s Player and Forward of the Year. The Brainerd, MN native finished the season leading the Mavericks with 43 points (29 goals, 14 assists) in 37 games. Archibald also set several new school records, including goals in a single season.

Denver junior defenseman Joey LaLeggia (EDM) was named the NCHC’s Defenseman and Offensive Defenseman of the Year. The Burnaby, BC native finished the season leading the Pioneers in defensive scoring with 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) in 37 games.

LaLeggia’s teammate, senior goaltender Sam Brittain, was named the NCHC Goaltender of the Year. The Calgary, AB native finished the season with a 19-14-6 record that included five shutouts in 39 appearances.

St. Cloud State senior and Hobey Hat Trick finalist Nic Dowd was named the NCHC’s Defensive Forward and Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The Huntsville, AL native finished the season leading the Huskies with 22 goals and was second on the team with 40 points in 38 games.

Colorado College freshman defenseman Jaccob Slavin (CAR) was named the NCHC Rookie of the Year. The Erie, CO native was one of the few freshmen and defensemen to finish the season leading his team in points. Slavin posted 25 points (five goals, 20 assists) in 32 games.

Recent Tampa Bay Lightning free agent signee and Alaska senior Cody Kunyk was named the WCHA’s Player of the Year. The Sherwood Park, AB native finished his college career leading the Nanooks in scoring in three of the last four seasons. Kunyk posted 43 points (22 goals, 21 assists) in 37 games this season.

Kunyk’s teammate, sophomore defenseman Colton Parayko (STL), was named the WCHA’s Defensive Player of the Year. The St. Albert, AB native finished the season leading Alaska in defensive scoring with 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists) in 37 games.

Follow DJ Powers on Twitter via @DJPowersHF

 

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