WTBU’s NCAA Mid-Season Awards Prediction

By: Dan Shulman

HOBEY BAKER STARTING LINEUP

Forwards

Andrew Poturalski, UNH

Leading the nation in points with 32, Poturalski has put together quite the season. Currently the only player in the nation averaging a goal per game, Poturalski is one of the most dynamic offensive players in the country. The sophomore forward leads his UNH Wildcats offense, which sits seventh in the nation averaging 3.81 goals per game. His six power play goals pace the nation’s fourth best power play. Despite UNH’s 6-6-4 record at the break, Poturalski’s production can help engineer a second half turnaround for the Wildcats.

Jimmy Vesey, Harvard

The only member of last season’s Hobey Baker Hat-Trick Finalists to return this season, Vesey looks poised to be up for college hockey’s most coveted award for a second straight season. A consistent offensive-minded forward, Vesey’s 16 points this season have come in only 10 games. He leads the nation’s ninth-highest scoring offense, and has been a key component to Harvard’s success over the past two seasons. Vesey has scored three power play goals, one short-handed, and a trio of game-winners as well. As the Crimson continue to rise in the poll, Vesey looks to be a front-runner for the Hobey Baker.

Drake Caggiula, North Dakota

Second in the nation with 13 goals, Caggiula leads a high-powered North Dakota team. The senior from Verona, Wisconsin has amassed 27 points in 19 games this season for the Fighting Hawks. His tallies include a short-handed goal and three game-winners as well. His team sits tied for ninth in scoring offense, averaging 3.5 goals per game. Winning their last six games before the break, Caggiula and the Fighting Hawks look primed to win a National Championship.

Defensemen

Jake Walman, Providence

Following a National Championship campaign for the first time in program history, the Providence College Friars enter the semester break riding a nation’s best 15 game unbeaten streak. A big part of their success has been the production of sophomore defenseman Jake Walman. Currently leading all defenseman with 19 points this season, Walman is tied for third in the country with six power play goals along with four game-winning tallies. If the Friars are to repeat as champions, it will be in part to the efforts of Walman.

Ethan Prow, St. Cloud State

Perhaps the most under-the-radar candidate, Ethan Prow has had himself a splendid season. Leading one of the NCAA’s top scoring defenses, Prow has contributed on both sides of the puck. Notching just two goals this season, the senior has collected 15 assists, tops for all defensemen in the country. He sits behind Walman in points per game by defensemen, averaging 1.21. As a defenseman, he has a +11 rating this season. With the Huskies making another push toward the tournament, Prow is big factor behind his team’s success.

Goaltender

Michael Garteig, Quinnipiac

Only a handful of goalies have played more than a thousand minutes between the pipes this year. One of them is Michael Garteig. The senior net-minder has stopped 400 of 422 shots he has faced. Garteig is third in the nation with a 1.24 GAA and a .948 SV%. He has led Quinnipiac to its best start ever, going 15-1-2 through the first half of the season. Garteig is also tied for the national lead in shutouts with six through 18 games. As the Bobcats continue to push for a National Championship, the performance of Garteig in goal will be instrumental to their success.

SPENCER PENROSE AWARD FOR COACH OF THE YEAR

Guy Gadowsky, Penn State

Penn State is only a four-year-old program, and Coach Guy Gadowsky has already made it one of the best in college hockey. Following a rocky start to their NCAA membership, the Nittany Lions put together a winning season last year for the first time since their ACHA days. This year, Gadowsky has led the program to a spot in the USCHO rankings. Guiding Penn State to an 11-2-3 record through the first half of the season, continued success will guarantee Gadowsky to a

TIM TAYLOR AWARD FOR MOST OUTSTANDING FRESHMAN

Kyle Connor, Michigan

Currently sixth in the nation with 1.47 points per game, Kyle Connor has impressed during his freshman campaign. With 11 goals and 11 assists, he is second among all rookies in points. Connor has led the Wolverines to a stellar start to their season. Aside from a +14 rating, Connor has yet to record a penalty and leads his team in points. A natural scorer, Connor has taken 48 shots on goal this season as well. With the Wolverines searching for a Big Ten title, Kyle Connor looks to be the one who will lead Michigan to glory.

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