The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced Monday the 23 semifinalists for the 68th 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, where the team defeated Canada 2-1 in overtime in the championship game.
|David Cotton||Sr.||F||Boston College|
|Jason Cotton||Sr.||F||Sacred Heart|
|Patrick Curry||Sr.||F||Boston University|
|David Farrance||Jr.||D||Boston University|
|Logan Hutsko||Jr.||F||Boston College|
|Charlie Kelleher||Jr.||F||New Hampshire|
|Spencer Knight||Fr.||G||Boston College|
|Mike Lee||Sr.||D||Sacred Heart|
Five of the 2020 nominees were semifinalists a year ago: Massachusetts forwards Mitchell Chafee and John Leonard, Boston College forward David Cotton, Northeastern forward Tyler Madden and New Hampshire forward Charlie Kelleher.
The nominations of David Cotton and his brother Jason mark the first time that siblings have contended for the award. Bill Cleary (1956) and his brother Bob (1957 and 1958) are previous winners, as were Mark Fusco (1983) and his brother Scott (1986).
“This number of semifinalists is more than we’ve ever had,” said committee chairman Tim Costello in a statement. “Last year, there were 20, and the year before, there were 16. This is no surprise. Just look at how tight and competitive the standings in all three of the Division I leagues are. There are so many teams in contention for top spots in the league races with a little over a month to go in the regular season.
“It stands to reason that there would be many candidates still in the running for the Walter Brown Award at this stage as well.”
The finalists and winner of the award will be named 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’ Awards Brunch on May 3 at Prince Restaurant in Saugus, Mass.
The 2019 Walter Brown Award winner was Harvard defenseman Adam Fox.