As team captain in his senior season, Butcher has helped guide his Denver Pioneers to the Frozen Four national championship game as the number one ranked team in the nation. Butcher’s stellar performance as the premiere defenseman in the nation led to a host of post season awards including: the NCHC Player of the Year, Offensive Defenseman of the Year and for the second straight season, First Team all-conference. Earlier today, he was also honored by the American Hockey Coaches Association as a First Team All-American in the west.
Butcher becomes just the sixth defenseman in the 37 year history of the Hobey to be named a winner. He was the first blue-liner to be nominated as one of three Hobey hat trick finalists in eight years, last achieved when Matt Gilroy of Boston University won the award in 2009. Will joins fellow University of Denver defenseman Matt Carle (2006) to win the Hobey, becoming just the second Pioneer to be named college hockey’s top player.
Entering the national championship game, Butcher has scored seven goals, dished out 30 assists and his 37 points are second in the nation by a defenseman. The two-time All-American is equally efficient at both ends of the rink. His plus-minus of plus 27 is tied for sixth overall in the nation.
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Northeastern University, Senior, Forward, Staten Island, New York
Union College, Senior, Forward, Saugus, Massachusetts
The workhorse goalie for the Beavers has played more minutes than any other tender in the country. Along the way he established a WCHA record with a 1.40 goals against average during conference games. Besides being the league goalie champion, Bitzer was named WCHA Player of the Year and First Team all-conference. His 1.71 overall goals against average leads the nation as do his six shutouts.
Notre Dame’s assistant captain has paced the Fighting Irish scoring charts all season with 52 points in 38 games, including a terrific playoff run of two goals and six assists in five games. A solid two-way player, Bjork scores goals at key times and has six game winners so far this season. Bjork is one of five finalists for the Hockey Humanitarian Award for his endless hours of volunteer time at a local elementary school where he is known as “Mr. B.”
Foo has proved to be one of the most consistent players in the nation, picking up points in all but four of his 38 games. He established a school record with a 21-game point streak earlier in the season and ended the year with a nine-game point streak intact. Also highly impressive is his plus/minus of +29, third best in the nation.
Despite the Wildcats season being over, their sparkplug Tyler Kelleher moved into a three-way tie for the national scoring lead with 63 points in 40 games. An exceptional playmaker, he produced 39 assists to lead the nation. He earned the Hockey East scoring title averaging almost 1.7 points per game and had a total of 18 multiple point games to his credit while being named First Team all-conference.
Harvard has posted a Hobey finalist for the third straight year in Co-captain Alex Kerfoot. He helped guide the Crimson to a tie for first in the ECAC standings and a number three national ranking due to a current 18-game unbeaten streak entering the Frozen Four. A gifted playmaker, Kerfoot has produced points in 12 of his last 14 games, including goals in eight of them.
The lone sophomore in this year’s class had a terrific season. He currently ranks eighth in the nation in scoring. Sheehy took home multiple conference awards including: Player of the Year, First Team Big Ten and conference co-scoring champion. Sheehy’s efforts on the Gophers top line helped Minnesota to their national record sixth straight regular season championship and their record 37th appearance in the NCAA playoffs.
As the Golden Griffins soared to the Atlantic Hockey regular season title, they did it on the back of Williams who led the circuit in goals against average and save percentage. He was named to the AHC Player of the Year, First Team all-conference and Goalie Champion. He presently leads the nation in save percentage at .943 while sitting second in goals against average and is tied for first with six shutouts.