Vesey, Eichel pick up final HCA awards for ’14-15 season

Jimmy Vesey took home numerous honors in 2014-15 and recently added the NCA National Player of the Month for March/April to the list (photo: Melissa Wade).

Harvard junior forward Jimmy Vesey has been selected as the Hockey Commissioners’ Association National Division I Player of the Month for March/April 2015 and Boston University forward Jack Eichel has picked up the HCA National Division I Rookie of the Month award for the same time period.

Vesey, a Hobey Baker Award finalist, led the Crimson to the ECAC Hockey tournament championship and a trip to the NCAA tournament. He led the nation with 10 goals over an eight-game span during March/April while sparking one of the nation’s top ten offenses. His 14 points led all ECAC Hockey players and were good enough for second in the nation. Vesey tied for second in the NCAA averaging 1.25 goals per contest and chipped in with four assists to guide the Crimson to a 6-2-0 mark over the final stretch.

He also led the country in goals with 32 over the course of 2014-15 and closed out the year with 58 points, good for third. In addition, Vesey was named the Walter Brown Award recipient, Player of the Year in the ECAC Hockey, both First Team All-Conference and All-American selections, as well as the Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Hockey tournament where he scored nine goals to set a new playoff record.

Eichel tied for second in the nation with eight goals and eight assists for an NCAA-leading 16 points in eight games since the beginning of March and subsequently won the 2015 Hobey Baker Award.

Eichel helped the Terriers reach the NCAA national championship game in Boston on April 11, but lost to Providence. His 2.00 points per game since March 1 led the country during that time frame, as did his plus-15 rating and 40 shots on goal. Within Hockey East, Eichel led nearly every offensive category, including goals (8), assists (8), points (8), goals per game (1.00), points per game (2.00), game-winning goals (1), plus-minus (plus-15), shots on goal (40), and faceoffs won (107). Eichel’s 71 points this year (26 goals, 45 assists) is the highest total for an NCAA rookie since Paul Kariya registered 100 for Maine in 1992-93.

He scored the game-winning goal in BU’s postseason opener against Merrimack on March 13 in a game that saw him register two goals and an assist. He factored in on two other postseason game-winning goals, including the overtime winner against Yale in the Northeast Regional semifinal. In the Frozen Four, Eichel picked up four points (two goals, two assists) in two games.

In March, Eichel was the leading scorer in the Hockey East Tournament, notching four goals and six assists for 11 points and finishing a plus-10 in four games played. For his efforts in helping BU capture the eighth Hockey East tournament title in school history, Eichel was named to the All-Tournament Team and Tournament MVP after becoming just the third player to be named Hockey East Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in the same season. Last week, he was tabbed New England MVP. Eichel was also unanimously named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team and the Hockey East First Team All-Star squad. He was also named the recipient of the Tim Taylor Award, given to the nation’s top rookie.

Eichel lead the NCAA in nearly every offensive category in 2014-15, pacing the nation in assists (45), points (71), assists per game (1.12), points per game (1.77), power-play points (23), and plus-minus (plus-51) in 40 games played.

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