Who takes home Hockey East hardware? Predictions

With award season coming up for Hockey East, this semester’s Boston Hockey Blog writers, Matt and Liam, made their picks for Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, Goaltender of the year and the most memorable moment of the season. Hockey East will announce its award Thursday night. 

Player of the Year:

Matt: Junior forward Adam Gaudette, Northeastern University

Gaudette is the best player on the best team and in the conference. He leads the country in goals (30) and points (59). If it weren’t for his linemate, senior forward Dylan Sikura, he would have led the conference in assists. There’s a good chance that the first line center for Northeastern will also be the school’s first Hobey Baker recipient.

Liam: Gaudette

See Matt’s explanation.

Rookie of the Year:

Matt: Freshman goaltender Cayden Primeau, Northeastern University

Sensing a theme here? You will see a lot of Northeastern players in Matt’s award selections. Although I seriously thought about Boston University’s freshman forward Shane Bowers for this award. Primeau’s .933 goal save percentage and his 1.86 goals against average had him second in the country among rookie goaltenders in both categories. At times it felt like Primeau was a brick wall and took over the games. If the Montreal Canadiens view Primeau as the successor to Carey Price, Primeau should be on Huntington Avenue for awhile as Price is only 30 years old.

Liam: Freshman forward Brady Tkachuk, Boston University

Tkachuk was elite all season for the Terriers, setting a physical tone for the team on its top line of forwards for much of the year. BU’s improvement over the final two months of the regular season was directly correlated to Tkachuk’s uptick in production. Over the final 16 games leading into the Hockey East semifinals, Tkachuk notched at least one point for 12 straight matchups. He also tied for third in scoring among all Hockey East freshmen with 28 points.

Coach of the Year:

Matt: Greg Carvel, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Carvel’s team was predicted to finish last in the conference, but played in a quarterfinal matchup against Northeastern. This was the first time Carvel had his team in the quarterfinals since 2012 while coaching a team of predominantly freshmen players.

Liam: Jim Madigan, Northeastern University

After hoisting the Beanpot trophy three times as a player with the Huskies, Madigan guided Northeastern to its first Beanpot win since 1988 this February. He has developed forwards such as Dylan Sikura and Adam Gaudette into two of the best scorers in the country, has brought along a freshman goaltender, Cayden Primeau, into being a reliable rock in net and has his squad prepped for a deep NCAA tournament run.

Goaltender of the Year.

Matt: Freshman goaltender Cayden Primeau, Northeastern University

Primeau leads Hockey East in every major goaltending category. I don’t think this is much of a question.

Liam: Junior goaltender Christoffer Hernberg, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Hernberg has been as reliable as they come for the River Hawks despite not having the type of defensive line in front of him that Primeau does with the Huskies. He ranks second in the Hockey East in both save percentage (.921) and goals allowed per game (2.08).

Matt’s First Team.

F – Nolan Stevens, Sr. Northeastern

F – Adam Gaudette Jr. Northeastern

F – Dylan Sikura Sr. Northeastern

D – Jeremy Davis, So. Northeastern

D – Dante Fabbro, So. BU

G – Cayden Primeau, Fr. Northeastern

Liam’s First Team:

F – Jordan Greenway, Jr. BU

F – Adam Gaudette Jr. Northeastern

F – Dylan Sikura Sr. Northeastern

D – Jeremy Davies, So. Northeastern

D – Dante Fabbro, So. BU

G – Christoffer Hernberg, Jr. UMass Lowell

Matt’s Second Team:

F – Bobo Carpenter, Jr. BU

F – Erik Foley, Jr. Providence

F – Maxim Letunov, Jr. UConn

D – Jacob Bryson, So. Providence

D – Ryan Shea, So. Northeastern

G – Christoffer Hernberg, Jr. UMass Lowell

Liam’s Second Team

F – Nolan Stevens, Sr. Northeastern

F – Erik Foley, Jr. Providence

F – Mitchell Fossier, So. Maine

D – Jacob Bryson, So. Providence

D – Jared Kolquist, Sr. Merrimack

G – Cayden Primeau, Fr. Northeastern

Matt’s Rookie Team:

F – Logan Hutsko, BC

F – Shane Bowers, BU

F – John Leonard, UMass

D – Cale Makar, UMass

D – Brady Keeper, Maine

G – Cayden Primeau, . Northeastern

Liam’s Rookie Team:

F – Shane Bowers, BU

F – Brady Tkachuk, BU

F – Logan Hutsko, BC

D – Max Gildon, UNH

D – Mario Ferraro, UMass

G – Cayden Primeau, Northeastern

Matt’s Regular Season game of the year:

BU beats Harvard in double overtime in the Beanpot opening round.

Liam’s regular season game of the year:

Beanpot final. Seeing Northeastern’s players and fans’ ecstasy after winning the tournament for the first time in 30 seasons is a moment that will go down in Boston hockey lore.