Sunday, March 4, 2012

Predictions for the Hockey East Regular Season Awards

As the Hockey East regular season just wrapped up on Saturday, now seems as good a time as any to toss out my predictions for who will take home the regular season awards.  These are strictly my picks, though I'm sure QQ will grace us with his predictions at some point as well.

Player of the Year
This one was incredibly difficult to pick.  Abbott, Flynn, Diamond, Kreider, Wilson, Nieto, Connolly - arguments could be on all of their behalves.  That being said, to me this award has to go to Maine Senior forward Brian Flynn.  I know that's probably not a pick that most will agree with - but consider this: Flynn tallied 35 points in 27 games - only 3 less points than Abbott and 1 less than Diamond (he and Abbott tallied the same number of assists as well - 23).  He also led the league in +/- at +20, as well as game winning goals with 4. 

Coach of the Year
If anybody but UML's Norm Bazin wins this award, it's a travesty.  Took a team that had 4 HE wins last season and finished dead last in the conference to a #2 seed in the HE playoffs and picked up 17 wins along the way.  A no-brainer here.

Rookie of the Year
Again, this one's a no-brainer.  UML's Scott Wilson was far and away the most consistent freshman in the conference.  He put up 12-16-28 numbers in 26 games, which is 6 more points in one less game than the nearest freshman (Gaudreau). Take this one to the bank.

Best Defensive Defenseman
BC's Brian Dumoulin deserves this one, hands down. Easily the best defender in HE - big, tough, and smart.  Kid logged 35 minutes in the Beanpot final (yes, I know that doesn't count towards HE awards), which is absolutely insane.

Best Defensive Forward
This one's a bit more of a toss up.  One of those awards that could go to any number of the guys in HE - Kreider, Almeida, Connolly, Gill, etc.  I'll be a homer and throw it to BU's Matt Nieto.  While perhaps a bit on the smaller side for a forward, he plays on almost every PK for BU (and the Terriers take a whole bunch of penalties) and has an outstanding +/- (+15) to boot.

Hockey East First Team
Forwards: Spencer Abbott, Joey Diamond, Brian Flynn (all from Maine)
Defensemen: Brian Dumoulin (BC), Adam Clendening (BU)
Goalie: Doug Carr (UML)

Hockey East Second Team
Forwards: Matt Nieto (BU), Chris Connolly (BU), Chris Kreider (BC)
Defensemen: Garrett Noonan (BU), Chad Ruhwedel (UML)
Goalie: Parker Milner (BC)

Hockey East All Rookie Team
Forwards: Scott Wilson (UML), Ludwig Karlsson (NU), John Gaudreau (BC)
Defensemen: Alexx Privitera (BU), Trevor van Riemsdyk (UNH)
Goalie: Casey DeSmith (UNH)

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