Connolly, Patterson, Pearson highlight WCHA awards

Minnesota-Duluth forward Jack Connolly is the player of the year and North Dakota goalie Brad Eidsness has been named the outstanding student-athlete of the year in two of the major award winners announced Thursday by the WCHA.

The league’s five other major individual awards went to Wisconsin defenseman Justin Schultz (defensive player of the year), Denver defenseman Joey LaLeggia (rookie of the year), Connolly (scoring champion), Minnesota netminder Kent Patterson (goaltending champion) and Michigan Tech coach Mel Pearson (coach of the year).

In addition, the conference named three All-WCHA teams and an All-Rookie team.

All-WCHA First Team

Jack ConnollyFSr.Minnesota-Duluth
Nick BjugstadFSo. Minnesota
J.T. BrownFSo.Minnesota-Duluth
Justin SchultzDJr.Wisconsin
Joey LaLeggiaDFr.Denver
Kent PattersonGSr.Minnesota

All-WCHA Second Team

Jaden SchwartzFSo.Colorado College
Drew ShoreFJr.Denver
Jason ZuckerFSo.Denver
Gabe GuentzelDSr.Colorado College
Nate SchmidtDSo.Minnesota
Kenny ReiterGSr.Minnesota-Duluth

All-WCHA Third Team

Mark ZengerleFSo.Wisconsin
Brock NelsonFSo.North Dakota
Travis OleksukFSr.Minnesota-Duluth
Nick JensenDSo.St. Cloud State
Ben BloodDSr.North Dakota
Josh ThorimbertGSo.Colorado College

WCHA All-Rookie Team

Player PositionSchool
Kyle RauFMinnesota
Jean-Paul LafontaineFMinnesota State
Jayson MegnaFNebraska-Omaha
Joey LaLeggiaDDenver
Andrew ProchnoDSt. Cloud State
Juho OlkinuoraGDenver


    • I thought Nelson should have been first team going by his numbers.  Who of our freshmen would you put on the all rookie team?  Answer:  No one.  Because none of them ripped up the league this year by freshman standards.  So I have no problem with that.

      • I agree…..but Blood and Brock WERE first teamers, Corban Night and Kristo were 2nd, or at least third teamers.  Parks maybe could have received a sniff but only because his play since Christmas.  And our goalies???? All garbage team for sure.

  1. Lot of great talent in the WCHA.  Can’t disagree with any of these picks by statistics.  But talentwise, Jaden Schwartz, Zucker, and Blood are among the best in the league and will be great in the NHL.

    • Biggest shafting was to Oleksuk; he’s 2nd in WCHA scoring, 4th in the nation and doesn’t play on the same line as Connolly. Travis is the reason JT Brown leads the team in goals.
       Oleksuk should be behind Connolly on the 1st Team,
       Bugstad should be behind Zucker on the 2nd Team,
       Shore should be behind Nelson on the 3rd Team and
       Blood should be behind Bars for assault & battery.

      •  I agree on Oleksuk and your other comments.  But what’s with the Blood thing?  Maybe you should sign up for the golf channel or watch watch WCHA Women’s Hockey.  It’s rough but you won’t have to watch some real hitting.

      • nobody in the wcha is as dominant of a forward as bjugstad.  there is no team in the league that has an answer for him, he is an absolute animal and deserves the first team designation.  Connolly has better stats, is one hell of a player and deserves POY in the wcha for what he has done, bjugstad is a complete game changer on his own, just watch the show he will put on at the final 5 and tell me he doesnt deserve to be on the first team.  he is one of the players that comes through like a vanek, parise, toews, kessel, wheeler, and many others where you just see him play and you know he is going to do really well at the next level.  without bjugstad the gophers are a 4th or 5th place team. he changes the game so much for the gophers.

        • No doubt about it, Nick Bjugstad is a good player and he’s got good size for the NHL.  But what about Eric Huala on the same team?  Or Ben Hanowski with Cloudy State?  These guys are good players and they didn’t even get a sniff.  They each have better stats than Nick and if anything, he’s on par with them.  You are overstating Nick’s case. You can compare him to Blake Wheeler, that’s OK.  But to compare him to Vanek, Parise, Kessel, or Toews, no way.  Those players were dominant.  They, along with Dany Heatley left big gaps in their lineups when they left for the NFL.

  2. I wonder what happened to these players:  Ben Hanowski of St. Cloud, Matt White and Terry Broadhurst of UN-O, and Eric Haula of UofM.


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