Nation’s top goal scorer Vesey is Harvard’s first Walter Brown winner since 2005

Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey scored 31 goals in 2014-15 and was named the winner of the 63rd Walter Brown Award (photo: Melissa Wade).

The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced Tuesday that Harvard junior forward Jimmy Vesey is the winner of the 63rd Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England.

Vesey finished first in the final balloting just ahead of Boston University freshman Jack Eichel.

“Jimmy is a great player who has had a tremendous season,” Harvard coach Ted Donato said in a news release. “He has been incredibly consistent offensively, leading the country in goals scored, and has been relied upon in all key situations. Jimmy has also established himself as a team leader both on and off the ice. He is very deserving of this prestigious award and we are very proud of him.”

Vesey led all Division I players with 31 goals and also added 26 assists to give him 57 points and place him in a tie with BU’s Evan Rodrigues for second in the nation in that category.

Vesey was also named ECAC Player of the Year and this season was the third straight in which Vesey made the roster of Walter Brown Award semifinalists. He is the tenth player from Harvard to win the Walter Brown Award and the 11th Harvard recipient. Bob Cleary was the winner in both 1957 and 1958. Harvard’s last winner was goalie Dov Grumet-Morris in 2005.

“The 20 semifinalist candidates for the Walter Brown Award this year made up our largest group ever,” added Gridiron Club committee chairman Tim Costello. “But as the season progressed and the playoffs commenced, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that it would come down to Jimmy or Jack. The Gridiron Club and the selection committee extend their congratulations to both of them on their superlative seasons.”

The Walter Brown Award, established at the 20th reunion of the 1933 Massachusetts Rangers in honor of Brown, who coached the Rangers to America’s first World Championship in Prague, Czechoslovakia, will be presented at the New England College Hockey Writers’ Dinner on April 22.

Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau won the award in 2014.

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