Daryl Watts is the USCHO player of the year not just because she won the Patty Kazmaier Award or because she led the nation with 82 points, but because of how historic her numbers were for any player of any age. This is a season that college hockey fans will be talking about for years to come.
She had one of the best freshman seasons in NCAA history. Her 42 goals tie the single-season high for a rookie set by Julie Chu in 2002-03. Her 82 points are the second-highest single season point total in Boston College history. In addition to her national achievements, she tied the Hockey East single-season points (55) and goals (30) records that were set by Northeastern’s Kendall Coyne in her Patty Kazmaier-winning season. Watts also set the Hockey East freshman points, goals, and assists (25) records, as well as the Boston College freshman points, goals, and assists marks.
She was the first freshman, as well as the first underclassman, to be awarded the Patty Kazmaier Award. She had the highest season point total in an Olympic year and is the seventh-ever player — first in an Olympic year — to post a 40-goal, 40-assist season. It was just the third such season in the past 13 years.
Watts was the 2018 Hockey East Player of the Year and the unanimous selection as the Hockey East Rookie of the Year, and a unanimous selection to both the conference’s All-Star First Team and All-Rookie squad.
She finished the season ranked in the top three in nearly every offensive category nationally. Watts led all players in the country in points (82), points per game (2.16), goals (42), and power-play goals (10). She was second in goals per game (1.11), power-play points (24), power-play assists (tied, 14), shots on goal (215) and shots per game (5.66). Watts also ranked third nationally in assists (40), assists per game (1.05), short-handed goals (tied, 3) and hat tricks (tied, 3), and she was seventh in plus/minus (plus-43).
Watts was maybe most impressive in the clutch. She factored in 17 of Boston College’s 30 game-winning goals and had better stats in games against the top 20 in the standings versus those in the bottom. She tallied a point in 35 of the Eagles’ 38 games.
Boston College coach Katie Crowley said she knew Watts was a special player when she recruited her, but even the coaching staff didn’t imagine she’d develop as quickly as she did.
“She had a tremendous season for us,” said BC coach Katie Crowley. “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.”
The USCHO awards are voted on by the women’s writers and editor.