The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced Tuesday that 22 players are semifinalists for the 18th Joe Concannon Award, presented annually to the best American-born NCAA Division II/III hockey player in New England.
The award was established in 2001 shortly after the passing of the longtime writer for the Boston Globe, who had a great passion for the game of college hockey while always advocating strongly for amateur athletics.
Seventeen teams are represented in the slate of candidates and the list of nominees includes 15 forwards, three defensemen and four goalies.
|Nick Albano||D||Fr.||UMass Boston|
|Jack Billings||F||So.||Salve Regina|
|Ryan Bloom||F||So.||University of New England|
|Nick DiNicola||F||Sr.||Fitchburg State|
|Brady Fleurent||F||Jr.||University of New England|
|Colin Larkin||F||Sr.||UMass Boston|
|Mike Moran||F||Jr.||Worcester State|
|Evan Morelli||G||Jr.||Plymouth State|
|Matt O'Dea||F||Jr.||Western New England|
|Nolan Redler||F||So.||UMass Boston|
|Jonathan Ruiz||F||Jr.||UMass Dartmouth|
|Ryan Stevens||F||Jr.||Plymouth State|
|Blake Wojtala||G||Jr.||Salve Regina|
Just four of the 2018 nominees were semifinalists a year ago: University of New England forwards Brady Fleurent (also the 2017 winner) and Ryan Bloom, UMass Boston forward Colin Larkin and Endicott defenseman Logan Day.
“This may be the most challenging season we have had in determining a semifinalist list for the Concannon Award,” said Gridiron Club hockey awards committee chairman Tim Costello in a statement. “This season’s exception level of play across all the conferences as well as the growing number of teams that have been considered in the national rankings are true indicators for the great talent in New England. There is a short window of opportunity for these players to truly distinguish themselves from our most talented field contending for this year’s award.”
The Gridiron Club will announce the finalists and winner of the 18th Joe Concannon Award in March, following league playoffs and before the start of NCAA Frozen Four in Lake Placid. The award will be presented to the winner at the New England College Hockey Writers’ Dinner in April at the Prince Restaurant in Saugus, Mass.