Freshman defenseman Lane Hutson and first-year head coach Jay Pandolfo won individual league awards this morning as rookie and coach of the year, respectively. The Terriers continue to rack up Hockey East recognitions left and right as the league’s top team of the 2022-23 season. BU boasts its impressive 18-6-0 record, crowned the regular season champions on senior night two weeks ago.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Hutson secured the Hockey East rookie accolade, up against Boston College’s Cutter Gauthier and UConn’s Matthew Wood.
Hutson finished tied for first in points with 43, including out-of-conference games, but was the Hockey East scoring leader with his 34 points in league games. His nine goals and 25 assists set a new precedent for league defenseman as the first blueliner in the 39 year history of the conference to lead in scoring, and the first freshman to lead in scoring since Jack Eichel did in the same jersey nine years ago.
Hutson is the Terriers’ 11th Rookie of the Year, and the first Terrier to win it since Joel Farabee did in 2018-19. The freshman dominated awards throughout the season as well, having been named HE rookie of the week six times, defender of the month twice, player of the month once, and national rookie of the month in January. Hutson was also named a Hobey Baker Top-10 finalist this afternoon.
Behind the bench, head coach Jay Pandolfo was selected as the Hockey East Coach of the Year, sitting amongst Maine’s Ben Brar and Merrimack’s Scott Borek. With the win, the Terriers become league leaders for HECOTY with their seventh win, thanks to Jack Parker’s five-time victory and David Quinn’s one earning.
Pandolfo is the third first-year head coach to win the award. He turned around a Terrier hockey program in just a year, leading the team to their 11th regular season title and their first since 2016-17. As a first-year coach, he guided an offensively dominant team who outscored conference opponents by more than a goal and eight shots per game.
Nationally, Pandolfo’s Terriers are tied for third in scoring offense with four per game, compared to the Terriers 3.1 GPG, for 18th place, a year ago. The Freshman class has accounted for almost 40% of BU’s productivity this season, and while he inherited a seasoned veteran team and a hefty recruiting group, coaching made all the difference compared to last year’s squad. This team finished the regular season with four Hockey East All-Stars, and two All-Rookie Team members.
Both the Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Year and The Bob Kullen Coach of the Year Award are voted on by the head coaches in the conference.
ROTY is named as “the player who has shown skill, ability and leadership beyond that expected of a player in his rookie season,” and COTY is for “the head coach who is considered to have demonstrated the highest number of significant accomplishments over the course of the season.” Without a doubt, both Hutson and Pandolfo have blown expectations out of the water, with well-deserved and impressive “rookie” seasons.