WAKEFIELD, Mass. - The Hockey East Association has announced the finalists for the Hockey East Player of the Year, Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Year, and the Bob Kullen Award as Bauer Coach of the Year as voted on by the league's head coaches. Winners will be announced on Thursday, March 19, at the league's annual awards ceremony at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge ahead of the 36th annual championship at TD Garden.
Finalists for the Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Year include Merrimack defenseman Declan Carlile (Hartland, Mich.), Boston College forward Alex Newhook (St. John's, Newfoundland), and Boston University forward Trevor Zegras (Bedford, N.Y.)
Carlile led all Hockey East defensemen with 53 blocks in league play. He rookie also paced freshmen defensemen in Hockey East play with 14 assists and 18 points. His 18 points ranked fourth among all league defensemen. His assists per game (0.58) and points per game (0.75) were also tops among all rookie blueliners while his eight power-play assists and eight power-play points were also tops among his peers. Carlile anchored a Merrimack defense corps that produced the fifth-best penalty kill in conference play, denying 67 of 80 power play opportunities against the Warriors. Carlie also received a plus rating on 22 of Merrimack's goals, more than any other rookie defenseman.
Newhook finished second among all league players in conference 15 goals and 18 assists for 33 points in 24 games, while leading the league with a plus-25 on-ice rating. His 15 goals were second among all skaters, including four game-winning strikes that helped the Eagles to a 17-6-1 record in Hockey East play and the program's 17th regular season crown. The St. John's, Newfoundland native paced all Hockey East freshmen in goals (15), points (33), points per game (1.38), shorthanded goals (1), game-winning goals (4), and onice rating (+25.) He was also second in faceoff percentage, going 122-105 at the dot for a 53.7% efficiency. Newhook finished the regular season riding a 12-game point streak, picking up 10 goals and 13 assists over the span.
Zegras had more assists (20) in Hockey East play than any other rookie. The forward racked up 26 points in league play this year, second-most among all first-year players and seventh in the league. His 12 assists and 14 points with the man advantage were also the most of any conference freshman. The Bedford, New York native strung together four separate point streaks of at least four games throughout the season, compiling an overall stat line of 11 goals, 25 assists, and 36 points. He scored one game-winning goal and set up another and enjoyed nine games of at least two points.
The league's top players in contention for the Hockey East Player of the Year include Providence sophomore forward Jack Dugan (Rochester, N.Y.), Massachusetts junior forward John Leonard (Amherst, Mass.), and Maine junior goaltender Jeremy Swayman (Anchorage, Alaska.)
Dugan led the NCAA in scoring for nearly the entire season and currently claims a national-best 42 assists, 52 points, 1.24 assist per game, 1.53 points per game, 19 power-play assists and 22 power-play points. In league play alone, Dugan racked up seven goals and a conference-best 28 assists and 35 points. Dugan set up four game-winning goals, including three in league play. The sophomore had 17 multi-point games, including a stretch of seven in a row with at least two points. He created four point streaks of four games or more, including a seven-game run where he potted two goals and dished out 17 assists.
Leonard has scored more goals than any other player in the NCAA this year as the junior forward has found the back of the net 27 times, including 21 goals in Hockey East play. Leonard has exploded during his recent six-game point streak, scoring 10 goals and adding five assists for 15 points. During that span, the Amherst, Massachusetts native took over games, scoring three game-winning goals, two hat tricks, three multi-goal games, and two four-point outings. His five game-winning goals were the most in Hockey East play this season while he committed just two penalties in 23 league outings.
Swayman looks to become the first Maine goaltender to win Hockey East's top individual honor and the first Black Bear to be so named since Spencer Abbot in 2011-12. During the Hockey East regular season, Swayman led the league in saves (782), save percentage (.932) and tied for the lead in shut outs (3) while his 12 wins in Hockey East tied for second. The junior's 782 saves in conference action is the 10th-most of any goaltender in league history and the highest single-season total since 2010-11. Overall, Swayman carries a record of 18-11-5 and leads the NCAA in saves with 1,099 stops.
Finalists for the Bob Kullen Award as Bauer Hockey East Coach of the Year include UConn's Mike Cavanaugh, Maine's Red Gendron, and Boston College's Jerry York.
Cavanaugh coached UConn to a fifth-place finish in the Hockey East standings, tying the program's best finish with a 12-10-2 record in league play. The 12 wins are the highest total for the Huskies since they joined Hockey East in 2014-15. Cavanaugh led his team to an 8-1-0 stretch in Hockey East play from Jan. 15 - Feb. 28 to secure the fifth seed in the Hockey East Tournament. UConn had the second-best scoring offense in 2019-20, scoring 2.96 goals per game. The Huskies also accrued the fewest penalty minutes of any team in the league, averaging just 9.5 penalty minutes per game.
Gendron guided the Black Bears to their best Hockey East regular season finish since the 2011-12 season, claiming the fourth seed in the Hockey East Tournament with a 12-9-3 record in league play, and a 18-11-5 mark overall, across a 2019-20 season that will go down as one of the most competitive in Hockey East history. His team also boasted a 13-1-3 mark at home in Alfond Arena. Gendron coached a squad that had the third-stingiest team defense in Hockey East play in 2019-20, allowing just 2.33 goals per game.
York looks to claim his fifth Bob Kullen Award after leading his Eagles to a 17-6-1 mark in Hockey East play and the 17th regular season crown in program history. The 2017-18 Bauer Hockey East Coach of the Year has collected an overall record of 24-8-2, his 20th season of at least 20 wins during his 26-season tenure at Boston College. The Eagles boasted the league's best offense with 3.88 goals per game and the best defense, allowing just 2.00 goals per game. A year after potting just 62 goals, no team had more than York's squad's 93 tallies.