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A Tradition of Excellence Blog, a hockey blog dedicated to UND hockey, distributed a ballot for the Second Annual 2012-13 Blogger/Website All-WCHA Awards Poll to the various fan bloggers and fan message boards from around the WCHA.
The voters were asked to pick the first, second, third and rookie teams just like the WCHA voters from the media. We also picked the player of the year, rookie of the year, defensive player of the year and coach of the year.
The ballots had to be back by today (3/14/2013).
This is the ballot that I submitted, I stand by this ballot. Your critique is appreciated and welcome; however, if your sole purpose is to attack me, you might want to think twice before posting.
You’re also welcome to include your ballot as well if you want.
Everyone sees the game of hockey a little differently and through a different scope/lens.
First off, this was a tough year, there are so many good players that could have been selected to be on this year’s ballot and I know from posting this ballot on my blog; in some fans’ opinion, I have slighted their favorite player(s).
To those people, I apologize.
For the most part, I have been able to watch most if not all of the players in the WCHA this season. This past weekend, I was able to get a closer look at the Minnesota Gophers live in Bemidji, Minnesota.
In my opinion, Nate Schmidt (8g-22a—30tps) is the best defenseman in the WCHA, if I was a Gophers fan I would be worried, the free agent is going to get offers from professional hockey teams in the offseason. Schmidt is the real deal.
I also think that Ryan Walters (21g-29a—50tps) is the hands down favorite for Players of the Year in the WCHA. Ryan Walters is also the real deal and will garner free agent offers from professional hockey teams in the offseason as well.
My pick for Rookie of the year is Jonny Brodzinski (19g-11a—30pts), this is the same kid that only scored (10g-12a—22pts) in 58 games with the Fargo Force of the USHL the year before. Brodzinski, the undrafted 6’1’ 200 pound forward from Ham Lake Minnesota is becoming an unstoppable force on the ice and the Huskies are 17-6-1 when he scores at least a point.
Bob Moztko had this to say about his rookie forward after a series earlier this season, when he [Brodzinski] shoots the puck people are going to start see that it’s a big league shot, and it’s just deadly – he’s a big strong kid – he gets open, he reminds me of a kid [Matt Frattin] they had here a couple of years ago – a kid that shot every time he had the puck.”
Coach of the year, I thought Mike Hastings earned the award with his team’s finish, especially after finishing 11th, the year before. I can see an argument for Bob Motzko from Saint Cloud State as well, but they had a lot of returning players, so the Huskies winning the league title this season wasn’t really a shock to anyone.
All-WCHA First Team
F – Corban Knight, UND
F – Ryan Walters, UNO
F – Erik Haula, UMN
D – Nate Schmidt, UMN
D – Joey LaLeggia, DU
G – Stephon Williams, MSU
All-WCHA Second Team
F – Drew LeBlanc, SCSU
F – Danny Kristo, UND
F – Rylan Schwartz, C.C.
D – Mike Bovin C.C.
D – Nick Jensen, SCSU
G – Adam Wilcox, UMN
All-WCHA Third Team
F – Matt Leitner, MSU
F – Alexander Krushelnyski, C.C.
F – Nic Dowd, SCSU
D – Andrew Prochno, SCSU
D – Dillon Simpson, UND
G – Joel Rumpel, UW
All-WCHA Rookie Team
F – Rocco Grimaldi, UND
F – Alex Petan, MTU
F – Jonny Brodzinski, SCSU
D – Nolan Zajac, DU
D – Jordan Schmaltz, UND
G – Zane Gothberg, UND
WCHA Player of the Year – Ryan Walters, UNO
WCHA Defensive Player of the Year – Nate Schmidt, UMN
WCHA Rookie of the Year – Jonny Brodzinski, SCSU
WCHA Coach of the Year – Mike Hastings, MSU