Monday, March 7, 2011

Chuck's All-WCHA Awards

Official and unofficial ballots are being throw around and it looks like everyone and their mother has an opinion on who should make the all-conference teams.

I obviously do not receive an official vote but I'm going to waste your time anyways with my opinions and sit back and take the bashing from opposing fans about how I need to lay off the crack or take off my rose colored glasses or whatever un-thoughtful burn they can think of.

Obviously with 12 teams in the league this season it continues to get tougher and tougher to select these teams so there are many players that are more than deserving of league awards that won't receive recognition simply because there aren't enough spots. Some apologies immediately go out to Jason Gregoire of North Dakota, Scott Gudmandson of Wisconsin, Matt Read of Bemidji State, and Gabe Guentzel of Colorado College among others.

First Team All-WCHA
F-Mike Connolly-Minnesota Duluth
F-Matt Frattin-North Dakota
F-Jack Connolly-Minnesota Duluth
D-Justin Schultz-Wisconsin
D-Jake Gardiner-Wisconsin
G- Kent Patterson-Minnesota

Second Team All-WCHA
F-Jason Zucker-Denver
F-Jaden Schwartz-Colorado College
F-Drew Shore-Denver
D-Chay Genoway-North Dakota
D-Matt Donnovan-Denver
G-Sam Brittain-Denver

Third Team All-WCHA
F-Drew LaBlanc-St. Cloud State
F-Justin Fontaine-Minnesota Duluth
F-Craig Smith-Wisconsin
D-Eric Olimb-Nebraska-Omaha
D-Kurt Davis-Minnesota State
G-Aaron Dell-North Dakota

All Rookie Team
F-Jaden Schwartz-Colorado College
F-Mark Zengerle-Wisconsin
F-Jason Zucker-Denver
D-Nick Jensen-St. Cloud State
D-Justin Faulk-Minnesota-Duluth
G-Sam Brittain-Denver

WCHA Player of the Year: Matt Frattin-North Dakota
Besides Frattin's numbers speaking for themselves, no player has made more of an impact this season. When you watch a North Dakota game they have many players that stand out but Frattin is the one when your grabbing a post game beer that you think, man...that kid is really good. He was the best player on the best team in the league and won the scoring title. Probably the easiest Player of the Year choice in recent seasons.

WCHA Defenseman of the Year: Justin Schultz-Wisconsin
Wisconsin had Brendan Smith last year but I'm not sure that the league has seen an offensive threat from the blueline like Schultz since maybe Mike Crowley from the Gophers in the 90's. Schultz is the 9th leading scorer in the country, as a defenseman, not an easy task. His 18 goals this season are one away from tying the Wisconsin record for goals by a defensman set by Sean Hill in 1990.

WCHA Rookie of the Year: Jason Zucker-Denver
Zucker has won this award a bit by default. While I don't have a problem including Jaden Schwartz on my all-conference teams despite missing multiple games, I can't give him the rookie of the year, especially when Zucker played as well as he did. Zucker was his best when it mattered, in WCHA games. He finished third in scoring in league games as a freshman, a very tough thing to do as a rookie.

WCHA Coach of the Year: George Gwozdecky
Many are giving this to Blais because Nebraska-Omaha finished third in the league. Well I predicted them to finish fourth so I'm not surprised at all. The only team in the country that lost more talent off it's roster from last season other than Wisconsin was Denver. Losing Rakhshani, Colborne, Ruegsegger, Wiercioch, and WCHA Player of the Year Marc Cheverie off last seasons club, and having to go through the tradgedy of the Jesse Martin indecent and still almost seamlessly finishing second in the WCHA this season is impressive.

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