Photo: UMass Lowell goaltender and Winnipeg Jets prospect Connor Hellebuyck has been a driving force in the River Hawks second half surge to the 2013 Frozen Four (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
UMass Lowell freshman goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (WPG) has been a big reason behind the River Hawks’ successful run into the Frozen Four. He currently leads the nation in several categories, including goals-against average (1.31) and save percentage (.953). His six shutouts are also tied for the most nationally.
Photo: UMass Lowell freshman goaltender and Winnipeg Jets prospect Connor Hellebuyck has been impressive in his first season of Division 1 hockey (courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics)
Not many goalies have a lot of success during their freshman season in Hockey East, but UMass Lowell’s Connor Hellebuyck has dominated college hockey so far this season.
Photo: Northeastern University forward and Winnipeg Jets prospect Vinny Saponari is currently ranked second in scoring for the Huskies, behind only Anaheim Ducks prospect Kevin Roy (courtesy of Jim Pierce)
Having a senior class that can guide a mostly younger team is crucial in not only the success of the program but also in the development of their younger players. But, over the last several years, few NCAA teams have been hit harder by non-graduating player departures than Northeastern University.
Photo: Drafted 3rd overall in 2008, Zach Bogosian has gradually developed into a solid top four defenseman in the NHL. (courtesy of Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SMI)
Because the 2008 draft class produced so many big name stars, the other prospects that have yet to make the big show yet are often held to unrealistic standards, and written off as busts too soon. Zach Bogosian's future with the Jets/Thrashers franchise was in doubt at one point, and only in the 2011-12 season did he really show what the front office saw in him to take him third overall.
Photo: University of North Dakota forward and Florida Panthers prospect Corban Knight had the hot scoring hand in the NCAA during the month of December (courtesy of Brace Hemmelgarn/Icon SMI)
With the first half of the 2012-13 season drawing to a close and the second half getting underway, there were plenty of prospect stories making the rounds in college hockey in December. Hockey’s Future takes a look back at the final month of the 2012 calendar year. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of Dec. 31.