Regular-season champion Wisconsin claimed three of the WCHA’s top individual awards Thursday, leading all member schools.
From the Badgers, the nation’s scoring leader, forward Steve Reinprecht, was named the WCHA Player of the Year, while teammates Dany Heatley and Jeff Dessner took home the Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively.
Reinprecht, a senior from Edmonton, Alb., has 24 goals and 39 assists for 63 points in overall play this season, good for first in Division I. He is the first Badger to be named Player of the Year since netminder Duane Derksen did so in 1992.
Heatley, who shares the WCHA lead in goals with 27 in 35 games, is tied for fourth in overall points with 52. Heatley was recently rated North America’s number-one professional prospect by the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Bureau.
Dessner, a Badger alternate captain, rated the top plus/minus in the league at +49 while scoring 25 points, good for third among WCHA blueliners.
Apart from their individual awards, Reinprecht, Heatley and Dessner were each named to the all-WCHA first team, along with forward Jeff Panzer of North Dakota and defenseman Mike Pudlick of St. Cloud State, and goaltender Karl Goehring of North Dakota.
Jeff Scissons, senior captain at Minnesota-Duluth, was named the WCHA student-athlete of the year. The native of Saskatoon, Sask., holds a 3.91 grade-point average in finance. Scissons is a three-time member of the WCHA All-Academic team.
The WCHA Coach of the Year was Don Brose of Minnesota State-Mankato. Brose, in his 30th and final year as head coach of the Mavericks, has led his charges to a fourth-place finish and a Final Five berth. For his career, Brose is 536-326-72 overall, 10th all-time in wins among Division I coaches.
The WCHA second team was composed of North Dakota’s Lee Goren; Minnesota’s John Pohl; St. Cloud State’s Tyler Arnason; Minnesota’s Dylan Mills; Minnesota’s Jordan Leopold; and St. Cloud State’s Scott Meyer.
The third team included Erik Westrum of Minnesota; Jason Ulmer of North Dakota; Aaron Fox of MSU-Mankato; Paul Manning of Colorado College; Alex Brooks of Wisconsin; and Graham Melanson of Wisconsin.
The WCHA all-rookie team was Heatley; Colorado College’s Noah Clarke; North Dakota’s Ryan Bayda; North Dakota’s Travis Roche; Wisconsin’s Brian Fahey; and Alaska-Anchorage’s Corey McEachran.