Twelve players have been named finalists by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston for the 51st Walter Brown Award, given annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England.
The slate of candidates includes seven players from Hockey East schools, four from ECAC teams, and one from the MAAC. Harvard is the only team with more than one candidate; junior forward Tim Pettit of Seattle and sophomore defenseman Noah Welch of Brighton, Mass.
Others selected from ECAC teams were Dartmouth senior defenseman and captain Trevor Byrne of Hingham, Mass., and Yale sophomore forward Chris Higgins of Smithtown, N.Y. Holy Cross senior captain Brandon Doria of Bayonne, N.J. is the lone selection from the MAAC.
Players selected from Hockey East teams include three repeaters from last year; Boston College junior captain Ben Eaves, Providence senior Jon DiSalvatore of South Windsor, Conn.; and Northeastern senior Mike Ryan of Milton, Mass.
Massachusetts sophomore forward Greg Mauldin of Holliston, Mass.; New Hampshire goalie Mike Ayers of Hingham, Mass.; Maine freshman goalie Jimmy Howard from Ogdensburg, N.Y.; and Merrimack senior Joe Exter from Cranston, R.I., are the newcomers to the list.
“Once again we have a great field of candidates for the Walter Brown Award,” said award chairman Tom Burke. “The committee members have their work cut out for them over the next month and a half. There’s a lot of hockey left to play before the time comes to pick this year’s winner. We expect to make the announcement in mid-March.”
The 2003 Walter Brown Award will be presented to the winner at the New England Hockey Writers’ Dinner in April. Last year’s winner was defenseman Jim Fahey of Northeastern and Milton, Mass.