Denver Dominates NCHC Awards
CHN Staff Report
Denver senior defenseman Will Butcher took home two NCHC awards, including NCHC Player of the Year, marking the third straight year a blue liner has won. Butcher also captured NCHC Offensive Defenseman of the Year.
The Colorado Avalanche draft pick leads all NCHC blue liners with 35 points in 38 games this season, scoring six goals and adding an NCHC-best 29 assists. His 35 points tie for second nationally among defensemen. A Hobey Baker Finalist in 2017, Butcher was a First-Team All-NCHC selection for the second straight season.
Western Michigan head coach Andy Murray earned his first NCHC Herb Brooks Coach of the Year Award. The sixth-year bench boss guided the Broncos to a remarkable turnaround in 2016-17. After posting only eight wins last season and finishing in seventh place in the NCHC, the former NHL head coach has led WMU to a 22-10-5 record this season for a 14-win difference from a year ago, tops in the NCAA.
Denver forward Henrik Borgström was named NCHC Rookie of the Year. The freshman had a major impact for the Pioneers and in the NCHC in his first season of college hockey. The Florida Panthers first-round draft pick led all NCHC rookies with 19 points in conference play, appearing in 20 NCHC games, while scoring 12 goals.
The third Pioneer to claim a major award was junior netminder Tanner Jaillet, who won NCHC Goaltender of the Year. He led the NCHC in almost all statistical categories, posting a 16-2-3 record in 22 NCHC starts with his .833 win percentage tops among NCHC netminders in conference play. Jaillet also was first in the NCHC with a 1.65 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage in conference play.
Miami senior Anthony Louis was voted the NCHC Forward of the Year. He finished third in NCHC scoring with 27 points in 24 games. Earning NCHC Defensive Forward of the Year honors was Minnesota-Duluth senior Dominic Toninato. On the flip side is North Dakota junior Tucker Poolman, who took home NCHC Defensive Defenseman of the Year honors. The Winnipeg Jets prospect led all UND defensemen and was fourth among NCHC blue liners with a plus-17 rating on the year.