STORRS, Conn. - The UConn men's hockey program announced their team awards this week for the 2016-17 season.
Thomas J. Jacquard Award
Thomas Jacquard was an UConn hockey freshman in 1989 when he was involved in a fatal car accident while on his way home for Thanksgiving break. This award was created in his honor to recognize the freshmen athlete who has performed exceptionally well on the ice and has exemplified UConn Hockey off the ice. This year's recipient of the Thomas Jacquard award is Benjamin Freeman. He finished his rookie season appearing in 33 games. Freeman totaled 12 points on the season, scoring three goals, one on the power play, and dishing out nine assists. He finished the year with a +2 rating.
The Most Valuable Player recognized the player who has provided the most for his team this season. The 2017 Team MVP is sophomore Tage Thompson. He finished his sophomore season leading the Huskies in scoring with 19 goals and 32 points. He finished with seven power play goals and had three game-winners. A nominee for the Hobey Baker Award and a semifinalist for the Walter Brown Award, Thompson led the Huskies with six multi-goal games and 10 multi-point games this season. The past nine months have seen Thompson become UConn’s first-ever first round draft pick in the NHL Draft when St. Louis took him 26th overall this past June followed by becoming UConn’s first-ever member of Team USA when he helped his native country to the gold medal at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship this past December. After the season, Thompson signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Blues.
Seventh Player Award
The Seventh Player is the man that every player would like to have by his side on the ice. He is voted on by his teammates as the athlete who has consistently performed above and beyond the call of duty. The winner of the 2017 Seventh Player Award is junior captain Derek Pratt. This season, Pratt anchored the Husky defense in all 36 games. He finished the season with a goal and four assists. Pratt led the team with a +10 rating over the course of the season. He was third on the team with 55 blocked shots.
Silver Bowl Award
Each year the Silver Bowl is awarded to the senior athlete who has exemplified what it means to be a Husky on and off the ice for his four years here. This year's winner is the epitome of UConn Hockey, as voted on by his teammates. Senior Evan Richardson is this year's Silver Bowl winner. Richardson finished his senior campaign fourth on the team in scoring. In 36 games, he posted 22 points on six goals and 16 assists, all career-high numbers. On the power play, he finished with two goals and three assists. On the year, he was a +1 rating. During his three seasons in Storrs, Richardson appeared in 92 games and put up 14 goals, 27 assists and 41 total points.
Coach John Chapman Award
The Coach John Chapman award is given to the player who has demonstrated what it means to be a leader. He is a player who continually made sacrifices for the team; always putting them first. This player is one who has consistently risen to any challenge, and has graciously accepted any task asked of him. The winner is chosen by the coaching staff and the 2017 recipients of the Coach John Chapman award are juniors Spencer Naas and Kasperi Ojantakanen. Naas, an assistant captain this season, was third on the club in scoring with 22 points. He was just behind Tage Thompson for the team lead in goals with 15, a new career-high. He finished with three power play goals and was a +4 rating for the year. He will enter his senior season as the team’s career leader in goals with 37 over his three seasons. Ojantakanen posted 16 points in 36 games and was a +1 for the season. He scored a career-best six goals and passed out 10 assists. Defensively, Ojantakanen blocked 31 shots, second among UConn forwards.