MINNEAPOLIS — Boston College freshman forward Daryl Watts has been awarded the 2018 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.
“I came to Boston College to have fun playing hockey at the highest level, learn from great coaches and be part of a special group of teammates,” said Watts upon receiving the Kazmaier. “I never dreamed this year could’ve gone as it did. I am so lucky to be coached by Katie (Crowley), Courtney (Kennedy), and Court (Sheary) and be on the ice with our incredible team. They push all of us to be better every day, and this award is as much my teammates’ as it is mine.”
The honors were presented to Watts Saturday morning at the McNamara Alumni Center on Minnesota’s campus as part of the women’s Frozen Four weekend hosted by the University of Minnesota. The award, which is in its 21st year, is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s hockey by the USA Hockey Foundation.
Watts is the first freshman to win the award. She was only the third freshman to ever be announced as a top-three finalist, joining Mercyhurst forward Meghan Agosta in 2007 and Minnesota goalie Noora Räty in 2010.
“Being selected as the first freshman is such an honor,” said Watts. “I really had no expectations coming into this year, didn’t think I would be in this spot right now, but it’s such an honor. Winning this for BC is huge. Obviously we wish we could be competing here this year weekend, but next year we’re so excited to come back.”
Watts was selected from a group of three finalists that included senior forward Victoria Bach (Boston University) and junior forward Loren Gabel (Clarkson).
“She had a tremendous season for us,” said BC coach Katie Crowley. “We had a couple of kids gone this year, and we knew that point production was going to be a big deal for us. She really did an unbelievable job for us this year. To have it be her freshman year, stepping right in, understanding what we were trying to do, and really helping our team, she did a phenomenal job.”
Watts has had a season that would be impressive for any player, let alone a freshman. The 18-year old from Toronto, Ontario, led the nation with 82 points on 42 goals and 40 assists. It’s the second-highest point total for a freshman ever, tied with Hannah Brandt’s 2012-13 season and behind Julie Chu in 2002-03. The 42 goals tie an NCAA freshman record, and her season was good enough for the second-highest single-season point total in Boston College program history.
She leads the country in points per game (2.18), power-play goals (10), power-play assists (14), and power-play points (24). She’s also among the nation’s best in assists (39), plus/minus (plus-43), assists per game (1.05), goals per game (1.11), short-handed points (tied, 5), game-winning points (17), and shots per game (5.66).
While rewriting the national record book, she also added herself to the annals of Hockey East history. She tied the Hockey East single-season points (55) and goals (30) records and set new records in Hockey East for freshman points, goals, and assists. She was the second-ever freshman to be named both league player of the year and rookie of the year in the same season.
She is the second winner from Boston College, joining Alex Carpenter, who won in 2015.
“We’ve been a growing team here for the last 10 years,” said Crowley. “It’s a tribute to Courtney Kennedy, who does a great job recruiting and finding these players for us. The growth of our program is starting to show for us now. With Alex winning, that was a tremendous event for us, and now Daryl following that up a couple of years later is just awesome.”
“Alex Carpenter is an unbelievable player, and to follow in her footsteps is really special,” said Watts. “I’m so honored to win the Award, especially after her. BC is such an amazing school, such an amazing hockey program, and I think we’re going to be successful for many years to come.”
She completed just the seventh 40-goal, 40-assist season in NCAA women’s hockey history (the first in an Olympic year). She tallied points in 35 of 38 games and had 25 games where she tallied multiple points.
Watts played on a line with sophomore Caitrin Lonergan, and the two found immediate success with each other. Lonergan’s point production more than doubled from her freshman numbers.
“Caitrin is an amazing player, and it was so fun to play with her this year,” said Watts. “We had chemistry right from the beginning. Next year, we are so excited to play again and keep getting better.”
Perhaps most impressive, though, is that Watts performed her best when playing the best teams in the country. Her point production actually increased against the top teams.
WATTS DOES HER DAMAGE AGAINST TOP TEAMS
While Daryl Watts is leading the nation in scoring, most of her production has come against top teams.
- In 22 games against teams currently in the PairWise Top 20, Watts has posted 47 points (26 goals, 21 assists) for a 2.14 points per game average and a 1.18 goals per game mark.
- In 16 games against teams currently in the PairWise Bottom 20, Watts registered 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) for a 2.06 points per game average and a 0.94 goals per game mark.
- When comparing her scoring numbers across the top nine scorers in D-I women’s hockey, Watts is one of only two players with a positive differential between Top 20 and Bottom 20 teams — a plus-0.08 mark.