Ten schools, including three no longer part of the league, are represented in the first 10 players named to the WCHA’s Top 50 Players in 50 Years, a group selected in conjunction with the league’s 50th anniversary.
The 50 players will be announced 10 at a time, one group a month. They were selected from a pool of over 160 nominees by a committee appointed by WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod.
The first 10 selections, in alphabetical order, are:
A forward at Michigan Tech from 1959 to 1962, Angotti scored 132 points in 89 collegiate games. He helped the Huskies to the 1962 WCHA and NCAA titles.
A Northern Michigan forward from 1989 to 1992, Beattie was the league’s most valuable player in 1991, when he led the Wildcats to the national championship. He scored 222 points in his collegiate career.
One of the best set-up men in league history, Johnson holds the WCHA record for conference assists in a career (151). A North Dakota defenseman from 1989 to 1993, he is in his ninth season in the NHL and plays for the Nashville Predators.
A defenseman for Denver from 1966 to 1969, Magnuson was a two-time all-American and a three-time WCHA first-teamer. He helped the Pioneers to back-to-back national championships in 1968 and ’69.
A member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Matchefts was an all-American in 1951 and 1953. A Michigan forward from 1951 to 1953, he won three straight national championships with the Wolverines.
A Wisconsin defenseman from 1974 to 1977, Norwich scored 168 points in 144 collegiate games. He had 65 assists and 83 points in the Badgers’ national championship season of 1976-77.
A Notre Dame defenseman from 1970 to 1974, Nyrop was an all-American in 1973. He ranks eighth on the Irish’s defenseman scoring list with 89 points.
A two-time all-American who played forward for Colorado College from 1970 to 1974, Palazzari scored 228 points in his collegiate career. The executive director of USA Hockey, he is a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
Pavelich, a forward for Minnesota-Duluth from 1976 to 1979, skipped his senior season to be a part of the gold-medal-winning 1980 U.S. Olympic team. He scored 142 points in three seasons in Duluth.
A Minnesota goaltender from 1986 to 1989, Stauber was the first goaltender to win the Hobey Baker Award. He holds the WCHA’s single-season record of 28 wins, set in 1987-88, and led the Gophers to two WCHA championships.