Harvard’s Vesey one of 10 repeat nominees for 2016 Walter Brown Award

Quinnipiac forward Sam Anas is one of 23 players up for the 2016 Walter Brown Award (photo: Shelley M. Szwast).

The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced Monday the 23 semifinalists for the 64th Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England.

The nation’s oldest nationally-recognized college hockey honor, the Walter Brown Award was established in 1953 by the members of the 1933 Massachusetts Rangers, the first American team ever to win the World Championship Tournament. Brown coached the Rangers to the title in Prague, Czechoslovakia, that year as the team defeated Canada 2-1 in overtime in the championship game.

The list of nominees includes 14 players from Hockey East, eight from ECAC Hockey and one from Atlantic Hockey. The slate is comprised of 15 forwards, four goalies and four defensemen. Boston College is the only team with four nominees. Harvard has three, while Boston University, Massachusetts-Lowell, New Hampshire, Quinnipiac and Yale each have two.

Player's NamePositionClassSchool
Sam AnasFJr.Quinnipiac
Zach Aston-ReeseFSr.Northeastern
Kevin BoyleGSr.Massachusetts-Lowell
Tim CliftonFJr.Quinnipiac
Kyle CriscuoloFSr.Harvard
Thatcher DemkoGJr.Boston College
Ryan FitzgeraldFJr.Boston College
Matt GrzelcykDSr.Boston University
Tyler KelleherFJr.New Hampshire
Nick LappinFSr.Brown
Alex LyonGJr.Yale
Ian McCoshenDSr.Boston College
Merrick MadsenGSo.Harvard
Trevor MingoiaFSr.Providence
Rob O'GaraDSr.Yale
Danny O'ReganFSr.Boston University
Andrew PoturalskiFSo.New Hampshire
Kyle SchmidtFSo.Bentley
Tage ThompsonFFr.Connecticut
Jimmy VeseyFSr.Harvard
Shane WalshFSr.Massachusetts
Colin WhiteFFr.Boston College
Dylan ZinkDJr.Massachusetts-Lowell

Ten of the 2016 nominees, including 2015 Walter Brown Award winner Jimmy Vesey of Harvard, were semifinalists a year ago. Other repeat semifinalists are Vesey’s linemate Kyle Criscuolo, Boston College goaltender Thatcher Demko, BU forward Danny O’Regan and defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, Providence forward Trevor Mingoia, UMass-Lowell defenseman Dylan Zink, Quinnipiac forward Sam Anas, New Hampshire forward Tyler Kelleher and Yale goalie Alex Lyon.

“This is the largest contingent of semifinalists we’ve ever had for the Walter Brown Award,” said Gridiron Club Hockey Awards Committee chairman Tim Costello in a statement. “That’s no surprise, with so many teams and individual players having truly outstanding years. We’re looking forward to a great deal of spirited action the rest of the way, starting tonight with the Beanpot Tournament and down the stretch run to the conference and national playoffs.”

The finalists and winner of the award will be announced in March, following league playoffs and before the start of NCAA tournament play. The award will be presented to the winner at the New England College Hockey Writers’ Dinner in April.

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