WAKEFIELD, Mass. - The Hockey East Association announced that Maine junior goaltender Jeremy Swayman (Anchorage, Alaska) has been awarded the honor of 2020 Hockey East Player of the Year.
Alongside Swayman, Boston College first-year forward Alex Newhook (St. John's, Newfoundland) was named the Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Year for a season in which he led the Eagles in scoring with 19 goals and 23 assists for 42 points. Additionally, Swayman's head coach, Red Gendron, collected his first Bob Kullen Award as the Bauer Coach of the Year after guiding Maine to its best Hockey East regular season finish since 2011-12.
Swayman is 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. Swayman's 2.27 goals against average in league play was fourth-best among conference netminders. Overall, Swayman carried a record of 18-11-5 and led the NCAA in saves with 1,099 stops. His save percentage of .939 ranked second among all goaltenders in the nation, while his 2.07 goals against average was good for 15th in the country. A 2017 fourth-round draft choice of the Boston Bruins who signed his entry level contract on March 17, Swayman had 25 games of at least 30 saves this season, including five outings with at least 40 stops. The Black Bears' backstop helped his team to the fourth-seed in the Hockey East Tournament by posting three shutouts over their final six games of the regular season, including a 48-save shutout in a 1-0 win in the season finale. Swayman is the first goalie to win the award outright since Northeastern's Brad Theissen in 2008-09 after Boston College's Thatcher Demko and UMass Lowell's Kevin Boyle split the award in 2015-16. He was named Stop It Goaltender of the Month for his performance in February, Hockey East Player of the Week on March 9, and twice honored as Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week. Swayman was announced as a Hobey Baker Top 10 Finalist on Wednesday, March 18.
Newhook finished second among all league players in conference scoring with 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 on-ice 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. He has recorded at least one point in 17 of his last 19 games for 30 points since 2020 began, including a five-point (2g, 3a) night on Feb. 15. Overall, Newhook led the Eagles in scoring with 42 points on 19 goals and 23 assists, including a league-best three shorthanded markers. His 42 points were seventh in the NCAA among all skaters. Among his freshman peers, Newhook's 19 goals, three shorthanded markers, four game-winning goals, and plus-28 rating were tops nationally. The 5-11, 193-pound forward was named both Hockey East and National Player of the Month and Pro Ambitions and National Rookie of the Month for a February run where he led NCAA players with 20 points, 11 assists, two shorthanded goals, and a plus-14 on ice rating. He was also honored as Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week three times and Hockey East Player of the Week once.
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. The seventh-year bench boss of the Black Bears led his program to an 83.7 penalty kill success rate, denying 87 of 104 opponent's power plays while converting on 15 of 77 man advantages of their own (19.5%) and allowing no shorthanded tallies against. Maine's four overtime wins in league play were also the most of any program.