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Two more juniors leave North Dakota as LaDue, Johnson sign NHL contracts

Paul LaDue will not be back for his senior season at North Dakota (photo: Bradley K. Olson).

North Dakota lost two more juniors Friday as defenseman Paul LaDue signed with the Los Angeles Kings and forward Luke Johnson did the same with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Both will forgo their final years of eligibility.

Los Angeles drafted LaDue in the sixth round (191st overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and Chicago selected Johnson in the fifth round (134th overall) in 2013.

LaDue earned All-NCHC honorable mention accolades in 2015-16 and finished his junior campaign with five goals and 14 assists in 41 games and tied for fourth in the NCHC with a career-high plus-31 rating.

In 123 career games at North Dakota, LaDue collected 16 goals and 46 assists with a plus-53 rating. He was named to the All-NCHC Rookie Team and was UND’s Male Freshman of the Year (all sports) in 2013-14.

Luke Johnson has signed an entry-level deal with the Chicago Blackhawks (photo: Bradley K. Olson).

Johnson scored 11 goals and added 10 assists for 21 points in 2015-16 and tied for the team lead with five power-play goals and led the squad in faceoff percentage (54.9), faceoff wins (394) and faceoff attempts (718).

Over 127 career games at North Dakota, Johnson tallied 30 goals and 36 assists with a plus-19 rating. Thirteen of his 30 career goals came on the power play, the most among active UND skaters in 2015-16.

UND defensemen Troy Stecher (Vancouver) and Keaton Thompson (Anaheim) also left school early and signed NHL contracts earlier this offseason after helping lead the Fighting Hawks to the national championship on April 9.

NCHC could vote on adding Arizona State, sources say; league denies ‘impending change’

Arizona State played its first Division I season in 2015-16 (photo: Rachel Lewis).

The NCHC is poised to add Arizona State as a ninth member if school officials sign off, sources have told USCHO and College Hockey News reported on Friday.

A source said school presidents could vote in May on whether to admit Arizona State, which played its first season as a Division I program in 2015-16. (Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said the presidents will vote in May, which has been put in doubt.)

NCHC commissioner Josh Fenton disputed the reports in a statement:

“Since the formation of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, the topic of membership remains a priority,” he wrote. “The focus has been and always will be strengthening our current member institutions. The opportunities to discuss expansion are grounded in our belief of what maximizes the value of the NCHC and strengthens college hockey as a whole. Although we will continue to discuss expansion, the reports made earlier regarding an impending change of membership within our conference are inaccurate. We remain guided by a keen focus to strengthen the NCHC and helping to grow the game of college hockey.”

Both the NCHC and the WCHA were known to have been courting the Sun Devils among the western conferences. The Big Ten, which is adding affiliate member Notre Dame as a seventh team in 2017, reportedly backed away from pursuing Arizona State.

Concerns about travel costs were part of the league discussions with Arizona State, a source said. The NCHC has two of the closest schools to the Sun Devils’ Tempe, Ariz., location in Colorado College and Denver, but each is more than 750 miles away.

It was unclear whether a Sun Devils move to the NCHC would take effect for the 2017-18 season or 2018-19. The league schedule for 2016-17 has already been released.

Arizona State was 5-22-2 in its first Division I season, including 2-3-2 in home games. Dating to their years as a club-level powerhouse, the Sun Devils have called 747-seat Oceanside Ice Arena, but they had four games in 2015-16 at Gila River Arena, home of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.

The school and the Coyotes have been reported to be in talks about a partnership for a new arena in Tempe.

Arizona State has hopes to be in a new arena by the 2018-19 season.

National search underway for next WCHA women’s commissioner

The WCHA announced Thursday that it will launch a national search, beginning immediately, for the next association vice president and women’s commissioner.

The announcement was made by Dr. Stephen Castleberry, faculty athletics representative at Minnesota-Duluth and newly-appointed chair of the women’s WCHA.

The women’s executive committee has appointed a six-person search committee, chaired by Minnesota-Duluth athletic director Josh Berlo and including Bemidji State assistant coach Amber Fryklund, North Dakota faculty athletics representative Dr. Sue Jeno, Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson, Minnesota State faculty athletics representative Dr. Jeffrey Pribyl and WCHA president and men’s commissioner Bill Robertson.

“Given the growth and popularity of women’s hockey reaching new heights, this is an incredible opportunity and responsibility for the WCHA – the nation’s premier collegiate league – to play a prominent role in leading the sport’s continued development and advancement,” said Berlo in a statement. “The Search Committee, on behalf of the WCHA and its member institutions, is excited to identify a dynamic leader whose work will ensure our continued championship-level success and academic achievement, while accelerating growth in all facets for the league and sport of women’s hockey at a regional and national level. We are committed to recruiting a strong and diverse national candidate pool, and all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.”

Added Castleberry: “As the league embarks on its next chapter, the Executive Committee and WCHA member institutions wish to thank Bill Robertson for his efforts since assuming interim leadership duties Feb. 5. Under his guidance, the WCHA enjoyed a successful Final Face-Off tournament, including live television coverage of the championship game for the first time in league history. Bill’s work has laid a terrific foundation for the women’s WCHA moving forward.”

A full job description can be found at wcha.com/womenscommissioner/. Interested candidates should send their resume, letter of interest and the names of at least three references to Berlo at wchasearch@d.umn.edu.

The search committee’s goal is to have a successful candidate selected and the position filled no later than Aug. 1, 2016.

Robertson will remain interim women’s commissioner until the position is filled.

St. Cloud State’s Motzko tabbed to lead 2017 U.S. World Junior Team

Bob Motzko will coach the United States at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship (photo: Melissa Wade).

St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko has been named head coach for the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal and Toronto from Dec. 26, 2016 to Jan. 5, 2017.

“It is a real honor to be asked to lead your country in what is considered one of the greatest hockey tournaments on the hockey calendar,” said Motzko in a statement. “The growth of talent in the United States has turned us into a perennial medal contender and I expect this year to be no different. I’m excited for this challenge and eager to begin preparations for our National Junior Evaluation Camp in August as we start shaping our team for the World Junior Championship in December.”

The job is Motzko’s international head coaching debut.

Motzko, who recently completed his 11th season as head coach at his alma mater, becomes the third current NCHC head coach to serve as head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team, though the first to be selected for the honor since the NCHC began play in 2013. He joins current Omaha and former North Dakota head coach Dean Blais, who served as head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team three times (1994, 2010, 2012), and Minnesota-Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin, who led Team USA in 2005.

This will be Motzko’s second time behind the bench for Team USA, serving as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2014 event in Malmo, Sweden, where he served under head coach Don Lucia.

“Bob has found success everywhere he has coached and we’re excited to have him as head coach of our National Junior Team,” said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director for hockey operations at USA Hockey, who will also serve as general manager of the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team, in a news release. “He has a familiarity with our player pool that should blend well with his ability to get the most out of players and we look forward to his leadership.”

The assistant coaches for the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team and other support staff will be announced in the coming months, while the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp runs July 30 to Aug. 6 in Plymouth, Mich.

Omaha elevates Mendelson from volunteer goalie coach to full-time assistant

Nebraska-Omaha announced Wednesday that Leigh Mendelson has been hired as an assistant coach for the upcoming season.

“Leigh has been with us for the past two seasons as a volunteer goaltending coach and he earned the opportunity to join the staff full time,” said Omaha head coach Dean Blais in a statement. “He’s got experience coaching and recruiting at almost every level of hockey, and he has worked alongside me on the bench as well. He’s a great asset for our program.”

“Leigh’s experience makes him a very good fit for our staff, particularly his knowledge of the United States Hockey League where we recruit very heavily,” added Mike Kemp, associate athletic director. “He also brings continuity, having been a volunteer for the last two seasons. He’s familiar with Dean and our players, and he is well versed in Maverick hockey.”

In two years working with UNO’s goaltenders, Mendelson helped Ryan Massa set a school record for GAA and save percentage in a season as well as earn All-NCHC Second Team recognition in 2014-15. Last season, freshman Evan Weninger was named to the NCHC All-Rookie Team after leading UNO in wins, GAA and save percentage.

Report: Denver’s Magness Arena to undergo renovations, expansion

Magness Arena will soon get a facelift behind the scenes (photo: Candace Horgan).

The Denver Post reported Tuesday that Denver’s Magness Arena will be renovated and expanded over the next year, with initial work starting next spring.

The Post article states that through private fundraising, the school intends to renovate and expand its off-ice space at the arena and will spend up to $2 million by the beginning of the 2017-18 season to include a new locker room, new lounge for the players with a full kitchen, a dressing room and coaches room.

“I love where the program is headed, and this is the last step to put the icing on the cake,” said DU coach Jim Montgomery in the report. “We still get a lot of great recruits, but we’ve lost on some recruits because we don’t have that wow factor when they walk into our locker room like they do at North Dakota, Miami or (Omaha).

“It’s going on 17 years since this building has been here and nothing has been done to the locker room. We need to give it the pop it needs of an elite-level program. I think if there’s any part of our program that can prevent us from sustaining being a top-five program — which I think we are — would be the dressing room and lounge area.”

The report added that “DU has designs for the renovation, but is not ready to make them public.”

Michigan loses final piece of ‘CCM Line’ as Compher signs with Avalanche

JT Compher eclipsed the 100-point mark for his career in his junior season with Michigan in 2015-16 (photo: Michael Dubicki).

Michigan junior forward JT Compher has signed an entry-level contract with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, giving up his final season of NCAA eligibility with the Wolverines.

Compher — Michigan’s captain — enjoyed his best season with 63 points (16 goals, 47 assists) in 38 games during the 2015-16 season. An AHCA Second Team All-American and All-Big Ten First Team selection, Compher led the nation in assists, and was No. 2 in points scored (behind Michigan teammate Kyle Connor). His assist total (47) was the most by a player at Michigan since Brendan Morrison set the school record with 57 assists in 1996-97. He finished the season with points in 26 of his last 27 games, including point streaks of 18 and eight games. He led the team (along with Connor) with 19 multiple-point games on the season.

He was the center of Michigan’s vaunted CCM Line with Connor on the right and Tyler Motte on the left. All three have now left school early to sign NHL contracts – Connor signed with Winnipeg and Motte inked with Chicago. The line was united for the first time on Dec. 4 against Wisconsin. In 27 games together, the trio accounted for over half of Michigan’s 136 goals (70 goals, 51.5 percent), and were a combined plus-89 in that span.

Compher was a top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award along with Connor and Motte this season, marking third time in the 35-year history of the award that one school has placed three players among the top 10 finalists. Compher will join Connor and Motte on Team USA at the 2016 IIHF Men’s World Championship to be held May 6-22 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.

He leaves Michigan with 118 career points (39 goals, 79 assists), becoming the first junior to hit 100 points at the school since Carl Hagelin (2010).

Originally drafted in the second round (35th overall) by the Buffalo Sabres in 2013 NHL Draft, Compher was acquired by the Avalanche in a trade on June 26, 2015.

Dartmouth tabs Canadian national team coach Schuler to lead Big Green women’s team

Dartmouth announced Friday that Laura Schuler, currently the head coach of the Canadian national women’s team, has been named head coach of the Big Green women’s squad.

Schuler is the program’s ninth head coach in nearly four decades, taking over for Mark Hudak, who was at the helm for 13 seasons.

“I am extremely honored and excited to be a part of the Dartmouth athletics family,” said Schuler in a statement. “Dartmouth women’s hockey has had a strong tradition of excellence on the ice, in the classroom and within the community, and I am excited to continue to build on that excellence.”

Schuler’s leadership of the 2015-16 Canadian national women’s team is not her first assignment on the international level. She was a development camp coach for Hockey Canada (2008-13), an assistant with the national women’s team (2010-11), head coach of the U22 national women’s team (2011-12), assistant of the U18 national team (2012-13) and head coach of the U18 national team (2013-14).

Prior to that, Schuler spent seven years (2008-15) as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Minnesota-Duluth, capturing a national championship in 2010.

She previously served as head coach at her alma mater, Northeastern (2004-08) and at Massachusetts-Boston (2001-04). She was inducted into the Northeastern Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

Schuler graduated from Northeastern in 1994 with a degree in cardiovascular heath and exercise, serving as team captain her senior year.

“I am incredibly excited to have Laura take over the reins of the Dartmouth women’s hockey team,” added Dartmouth director of athletics and recreation Harry Sheehy said. “She brings a rich background, from a world-class playing experience to assistant and head coaching at the collegiate and international levels. Her passion for teaching the game was evident to all who spent time with her. We welcome Laura and her wife Jessi to our athletics department and the Dartmouth community at large.”

Schuler won three gold medals with Canada’s national women’s team at the IIHF World Women’s Championship (1990, 1992, 1997), two golds at the Pacific Rim Championships (1995, 1996) and two golds and a silver at the Three Nations Cup (1996, 1997, 1999). She also won a silver medal at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.

Former UND standout Blake to be enshrined in school’s Hall of Fame

Former North Dakota standout Jason Blake (1996-99) has been named to the UND Letterwinners Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The 42nd annual Athletics Hall of Fame event will take place with a dinner and induction ceremony on Friday, Oct. 14. The Class of 2016 will be recognized the following day during halftime of UND’s Homecoming football game against Southern Utah.

Demko leaves Boston College after junior year to sign with Canucks

Boston College’s Thatcher Demko led the country with 10 shutouts (photo: Melissa Wade).

Mike Richter Award winner and Hobey Baker Award finalist Thatcher Demko has signed with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks after his junior season.

He’s the fifth Boston College player this offseason to sign a pro deal with college eligibility remaining.

Demko, who led the country with 10 shutouts in his third season at BC, was fifth nationally with a .935 save percentage and seventh with a 1.88 GAA.

He helped the Eagles to the Frozen Four this season, when he was the Hockey East co-player of the year and the winner of the Richter Award as the top goaltender in Division I men’s hockey.

Demko was a second-round pick by the Canucks in the 2014 NHL Draft.

North Dakota down another defenseman as Thompson leaves for Anaheim

Keaton Thompson had a breakout 2015-16 season with North Dakota and signed with the Anaheim Ducks (photo: Candace Horgan).

North Dakota junior defenseman Keaton Thompson has signed a three-year, entry level contract with the Anaheim Ducks and will forgo his final year of collegiate eligibility.

Anaheim drafted Thompson in the third round (87th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Thompson enjoyed his finest collegiate season in 2015-16 and helped lead the Fighting Hawks to the national championship and its second straight Penrose Cup as NCHC regular-season champions.

He played in a career-high 43 games and registered personal-bests in points (17), assists (15) and plus/minus rating (plus-21).

In 105 career games at North Dakota, Thompson collected eight goals and 28 assists with a plus-43 rating.

Another UND junior blueliner, Troy Stecher, signed with Vancouver last week.

Providence house fire displaces eight Brown hockey players

The aftermath of the house fire at 185 Angell in Providence, R.I. (photo: GoFundMe).

A house fire last week displaced several Brown hockey players and sent one person to the hospital.

According to a GoFundMe account set up, eight members of the Bears lived in the house located at 185 Angell Street in Providence, R.I. — Mark Naclerio, Joe Prescott, Brandon Pfeil, Peter Lappin, Kyle Kramer and “three other returning athletes who cannot be named.”

“Many of us lost all of our possessions in the fire and were left with little to nothing,” according to the GoFundMe page. “As the fire grew within our house, many of us were forced to make quick escapes, even to the point of jumping out of our second floor windows into the arms of our teammates. One of our teammates was hospitalized due to smoke inhalation and is currently fully recovered.”

The Brown communications office released a statement to USCHO.com on the matter.

“Once the immediate health and safety of the students at 185 Angell Street was addressed by those responding on site last Thursday, our immediate priority in the aftermath turned to offering these students essentially any support required,” said a Brown spokesman in an email to USCHO.com. “That has ranged from basic needs like clothing, housing and food to providing other important items like laptops, cell phones and textbooks. That also meant providing counseling support to students given that they are confronting a situation that can clearly be very challenging from an emotional standpoint.”

To offer a few specifics, the university on Thursday and Friday of last week:

* arranged for housing and meals for the remainder of this semester
* purchased clothing for the students
* offered personal effects (towels, sheets, pillows, toiletries, etc.)
* ordered replacement textbooks
* equipped those students who needed them with cell phones and laptops for temporary use
* produced new Brown identification cards
* arranged for parking spaces near campus
* alerted the students’ families and faculty members

All at no cost to the students, obviously.

All of this started on site on Thursday morning as the students gathered at the Brown University Bookstore in the immediate aftermath. And it has continued with a major operation coordinated by our staff in Campus Life and Student Services that will address whatever needs these students may have now and in the months ahead.

Carvel adds Barr, DeMichiel, McHugh to staff at Massachusetts

New Massachusetts head coach Greg Carvel announced Tuesday the additions of Ben Barr, Jared DeMichiel and Brennen McHugh to his staff.

“Ben, Jared and Brennen are a great fit for our hockey team,” Carvel said in a statement. “They come with many years of playing and coaching experience that will contribute to building a successful hockey program here at the University of Massachusetts.”

Barr will serve as assistant coach and arrives in Amherst after spending the previous two seasons as associate head coach at Western Michigan. Prior to his stint with the Broncos, he spent three seasons at Providence College, helping the Friars to back-to-back Hockey East tournament semifinal appearances. Barr also spent three seasons at Union and played at Rensselaer from 2000 to 2004 and spent one season as an assistant at his alma mater.

DeMichiel joins the Massachusetts staff as assistant coach after spending two seasons with Carvel at St. Lawrence University. He got his start in coaching as an assistant at Nazareth from 2011 to 2014 and was a goalie at RIT from 2006 to 2010.

McHugh’s position is the director of hockey operations. He joins UMass after one season at Cornell and three seasons at St. Lawrence, where he served in similar capacities.

North Dakota’s Boeser named HCA Player, Rookie of the Month for March/April

North Dakota’s Brock Boeser did it all for the Fighting Hawks in March and April (photo: Candace Horgan).

After helping lead North Dakota to its first national championship in 16 years, UND freshman forward Brock Boeser capped a stellar freshman campaign by being selected both Hockey Commissioners’ Association (HCA) National Division I Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month for March/April, which are the final HCA monthly awards for the 2015-16 season.

Boeser closed the final month and a half of the season on a tear as he led all NCAA skaters in March and April with 23 points in 10 games, six more points than any other player, while helping North Dakota post an 8-1-1 record.

His 18 assists, 1.80 assists per game, 2.30 points per game and plus-19 rating were also tops nationally during that time, while his five goals tied for fifth nationally and second among NCAA freshmen in March and April. The NCHC Rookie of the Year and runner-up for the Tim Taylor Award as National Rookie of the Year tallied points in nine of those 10 games, including multiple points in eight games.

Boeser was named to the NCAA Frozen Four All-Tournament Team after racking up six points and a plus-7 at the Frozen Four to lead UND to its first national title since 2000.

In the 4-2 national semifinal win against Denver April 7, the Vancouver Canucks first-round draft pick dished out two assists, including on the game-winning goal in the final minute of regulation to break a 2-2 tie. Two nights later in the national championship game against Quinnipiac, Boeser tied a career high with both three assists and four points in the 5-1 victory, while scoring the game-winning goal short-handed, which was his first short-handed goal this season.

He also garnered AHCA/CCM First-Team West All-America honors while in Tampa.

Boeser opened March with a six-point weekend in a sweep of Western Michigan March 4-5 to close the regular season and help UND clinch its second straight Penrose Cup outright as NCHC regular-season champions. He again tied a career high with four points (two goals, two assists) in the series-opening 8-1 win while adding a goal and an assist in the regular-season finale as he was named the game’s First Star both nights. Boeser was named NCHC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance to close the regular season, as well.

The First-Team All-NCHC selection continued his scoring streak into the postseason, racking up five assists in an NCHC quarterfinal series sweep of Colorado College, assisting on the game-winner March 11 while tying a career high with three helpers the following night.

At the NCHC Frozen Faceoff March 18-19, Boeser compiled three assists as he had a hand in all three UND goals at the conference championship.

At the NCAA Midwest Regional in Cincinnati, Boeser began the NCAA tournament with a three-point outing in a 6-2 win over Northeastern March 25 as he scored a goal and added two assists. He saw his 10-game point streak snapped the following day in the Midwest Regional final against Michigan as he was held pointless for the only time in March or April despite UND locking up its third straight Frozen Four berth.

Boeser finished his freshman season with 60 points in 42 games on 27 goals and 33 assists with his 60 points ranking third nationally (second among freshmen). His 27 goals ranked fourth nationally, while his plus-45 rating for the season was second in the country behind only his linemate, Drake Caggiula.

More importantly, Boeser announced last week he will return to North Dakota for his sophomore season.

Wild inks another underclassman, signs Boston College junior Gilmour

Adam Gilmour posted 73 points in three seasons with Boston College, including 26 in the 2015-16 season (photo: Melissa Wade).

The Minnesota Wild has signed Boston College junior forward Adam Gilmour to a two-year, entry-level contract starting with the 2016-17 season.

Gilmour recorded 73 points (28 goals, 45 assists) in 119 games during three seasons with the Eagles and tallied 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in 41 games during his recently completed junior season at Boston College, which advanced to the Frozen Four.

Gilmour was originally selected by Minnesota in the fourth round (98th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.

Quinnipiac leading scorer Anas forgoes senior season after signing with Wild

Sam Anas led Quinnipiac with 24 goals and 50 points during the 2015-16 season (photo: Shelley M. Szwast).

The Minnesota Wild announced Friday that the club has signed Quinnipiac junior forward Sam Anas to a two-year, entry-level contract starting with the 2016-17 season.

Anas tallied a team-best 50 points in 2015-16 on 24 goals and 26 assists in 43 games.

In addition, Anas was named to the 2015-16 AHCA/CCM Hockey Men’s Division I All-America First Team, to the NCAA tournament All-East Region Team, as well as the ECAC Hockey First Team.

He tallied 132 points (69 goals, 63 assists) in 121 games during three seasons with the Bobcats.

Anas recorded 39 points in 38 games during his sophomore season and was named to the 2014-15 AHCA/CCM Hockey All-American Second Team, becoming the third player in Quinnipiac history to receive All-American honors. He led NCAA freshmen in goals (22) and points (43) as well as points-per-game (1.07) in 2013-14 and received the Tim Taylor Award from the Hockey Commissioners Association as the NCAA Division I Men’s National Rookie of the Year. Anas was also selected as the ECAC Hockey Co-Rookie of the Year and was named to the 2014 ECAC Hockey Second Team and the ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team.

After winless ’15-16 season, Union announces women’s coach Barcomb will not return

Union women’s coach Claudia Asano Barcomb will not be returning next year, the school announced Friday.

Barcomb has served as the head coach of the Dutchwomen since the 2007-08 season.

A national search for the next coach will commence immediately.

“We thank Claudia for her efforts and work with the student-athletes both on and off the ice and wish her all the best in her future endeavors,” said Union director of athletics Jim McLaughlin in a statement. “Claudia brought many positive attributes to the program and the campus community, as well as the student-athletes under her guidance.”

“I would like to thank the many dedicated players that I have had the privilege of coaching through these nine years at Union College,” added Barcomb. “I would also like to thank my family, my staff, and the Union College community who have supported our program throughout the years.”

Over the course of her tenure at Union, Barcomb fashioned a record of 36-236-32, including an 0-28-6 mark in 2015-16.

Quinnipiac defenseman Toews gives up senior year, signs with Islanders

Devon Toews will forgo his senior season with Quinnipiac to sign with the New York Islanders (photo: Matt Dewkett).

The New York Islanders announced Friday that Quinnipiac junior defenseman Devon Toews has agreed to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Toews recorded career highs in goals (7), assists (23) and points (30) in 40 games this season.

In 108 career collegiate games, Toews totaled 67 points on 12 goals and 55 assists.

Toews was originally selected by the Islanders in the fourth round (108th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft.

Michigan’s Connor, leader in goals, points, is USCHO’s pick as top rookie, player

Kyle Connor’s only season at Michigan produced 35 goals and 71 points (photo: Michael Dubicki).

In the last 15 seasons, four players have been both the top goal-scorer in Division I men’s hockey and the nation’s leader in points.

To the list that includes Colorado College Peter Sejna in 2002-03, Boston College’s Nathan Gerbe in 2007-08 and the Eagles’ Johnny Gaudreau in 2013-14, add Michigan freshman Kyle Connor this season.

Connor scored 35 goals and netted 71 points in helping the Wolverines end a three-year NCAA tournament drought.

The national-best point total equaled the figure posted by Boston University rookie Jack Eichel in his Hobey Baker Award-winning season in 2014-15.

Connor didn’t win the Hobey this season — that went to Harvard senior Jimmy Vesey — but the Michigan rookie was USCHO’s choice as the top rookie and player in Division I men’s hockey.

Connor, a first-round pick of the Winnipeg Jets who signed with the NHL team on Monday, was part of the Michigan first line that made history by all being named to the list of 10 Hobey finalists.

JT Compher was second nationally in scoring with 63 points, while Tyler Motte was second in goals with 32.

Connor started his collegiate career with a two-goal performance and added 11 other multiple-goal games. He scored four times in a Big Ten semifinal victory over Penn State and had a hat trick against Minnesota on Dec. 11.

He finished the season with a 27-game point-scoring streak and recorded at least one point in 35 of 38 games.

USCHO’s postseason awards were selected by USCHO staff members during the Frozen Four.

The All-USCHO teams were unveiled Wednesday and the coach of the year was named Thursday.

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