Release Courtesy Boston College Athletics
MINNEAPOLIS – Boston College women's hockey forward Daryl Watts made history this morning, becoming the first freshman to win the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.
The Patty Kazmaier Award is presented annually by the USA Hockey Foundation to the top Division I women's college hockey player and is considered the sport's national player of the year award. This morning's award ceremony was held at the McNamara Alumni Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
In 21 seasons of the award's history, Watts is the first underclassman – freshman or sophomore – to win the award. In addition to her family and coaches, she was joined by fellow Top 3 Finalists Boston University senior forward Victoria Bach and Clarkson junior forward Loren Gabel at the ceremony.
"I'm so humbled and honored to be named the Patty Kazmaier Award winner," Watts said. "Being mentioned in the same conversation as the women and legends who've won this award in the past – some of whom I've looked up to for years – is a lot to take in.
"I came to Boston College to have fun playing hockey at the highest level, learn from great coaches and be part of a special group of teammates. I never dreamed this year could've gone as it did. I am so lucky to be coached by Katie (Crowley), Courtney (Kennedy) and Court (Sheary) and be on the ice with our incredible team. They push all of us to be better every day and this award is as much my teammates' as it is mine," Watts said.
Watts is Boston College's second Patty Kazmaier Award winner. Alex Carpenter '16 won the award after her junior season in 2014-15.
"We're thrilled for Daryl," head coach Katie Crowley said. "She came to Boston College and made a significant impact on our game in just her first season. This is a historic award in that she's the first freshman to be the national player of the year, but she hasn't rested on her success at all this year. Daryl goes out on the ice every day with the goal to get better and be a great teammate. While she'll get the attention for this award, she'll be the first credit her teammates for the help and support she's received from them this season to put her in this position."
In 2017-18, Watts posted not only one of the best freshman seasons in NCAA history, but also one of the most productive and most-balanced campaigns by any player regardless of age.
At just 18 years old, Watts is the nation's leading scorer (82 points) and has the highest point total ever in an Olympic year during the NCAA era (since 2000-01). The Toronto, Ontario, native posted just the seventh 40-goal, 40-assist season in NCAA history, the first in an Olympic year, and just the third in the last 13 seasons.
Watts was the 2018 Hockey East Player of the Year and the unanimous selection as the Hockey East Rookie of the Year, in addition to unanimous selections to both the conference's All-Star First Team and All-Rookie squad.
Her 82 points mark the second-highest point total ever posted by a freshman in NCAA play, while her 42 goals are tied for the most by a freshman in NCAA history, behind Harvard forward Julie Chu's 42 in 2002-03. Watts' 82 points are also the second-highest single-season point total in Boston College history.
Watts sits among the top 3 rankings in almost every offensive category nationally. Entering the final weekend of play, Watts led all players in the country in points (82), points per game (2.16), goals (42) and power-play goals (10). She was second goals per game (1.11), power-play points (24), power-play assists (tied, 14), shots on goal (215) and shots per game (5.66). Watts also ranked third nationally in assists (40), assists per game (1.05), shorthanded goals (tied, 3) and hat tricks (tied, 3) and she was seventh in plus/minus ( 43).
The Eagles' rookie collected at least one point in 35-of-38 games, with multiple points in 25 games – including 11 multiple-goal games, which is most in the country. She factored in 17 of Boston College's 30 game-winning goals, scoring three goals and assisting on 14 more, tying for the national lead in game-winning assists.
She tied the Hockey East single-season conference points (55) and goals (30) records originally set by Northeastern's Kendall Coyne in her Patty Kazmaier-winning 2015-16 season. Watts also set the Hockey East freshman points, goals and assists (25) records, as well as the Boston College freshman points, goals and assists marks.
Watts has been recognized four times by the America Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) with national monthly player honors: Player of the Month in October and three Rookie of the Month recognitions (October, November, January). She collected those same honors from Hockey East in the same months, and has also been a two-time Hockey East Player of the Week and a seven-time Hockey East Rookie of the Week.
Boston College (30-5-3) finished the season with its third-best record in program history, winning its fifth-straight Hockey East regular-season title with a 19-2-3 record, and claiming its third-straight Beanpot title. The Eagles advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in program history, drawing a top-four seed for the seventh time in program history.