As she’s already been named the winner of the 2018 Patty Kazmaier Award and the USCHO player of the year, it’s no surprise that Daryl Watts is also our rookie of the year.
It was a stunning season for a player of any class, but it was a historically great one for a rookie. Watts now sits second to only Julie Chu for freshman season numbers.
We’ve rehashed her season numbers — she finished the season ranked in the top three in nearly every offensive category nationally. She set the Hockey East freshman points, goals, and assists records, as well as the Boston College freshman points, goals, and assists marks and was a unanimous selection as the Hockey East Rookie of the Year. She outscored all rookies this season by 11 points and scored 15 more goals than any other freshman.
Every coach in hockey will tell you how difficult the transition is from prep to college. Every team prepares for a period where freshmen become acclimated and get up to speed, and nearly every rookie will admit that the speed of the game is the hardest thing for them to get used to.
Watts didn’t seem to need that cushion. And most everyone failed to see it coming.
“She came to Boston College and made a significant impact on our game in just her first season,” said Boston College coach Katie Crowley after the Patty Kazmaier ceremony.
She told those gathered that she expected great things from Watts, but didn’t think it would happen so quickly. Watts had 27 points on 12 goals and 15 assists through her first nine games.
“Daryl has had a tremendous year,” said Crowley. “We were lucky with Daryl as her transition to college was so smooth. I think it helped that her teammates and linemates, specifically Caitrin Lonergan and Makenna Newkirk, helped her adjust to the demands of college, on and off the ice. She was comfortable and became more confident as the season went along, which helped her take chances at this level that proved to be successful.”
There are season performances that stick with you, years after they’ve passed. They are the measuring stick by which future players get measured and future award
voting is based. They’re the benchmarks. Sometimes, you don’t know a season has been one of those standards until time has passed. Distance isn’t necessary here.
Chu’s numbers were once-in-a-generation, and Watts has ushered in a new generation.