Nate Schmidt named Gophers hockey MVP

The Minnesota men’s hockey team held its annual year-end banquet Tuesday, with several members of the squad earning postseason recognition.

Nate Schmidt, a second-team All-American, was named the John Mariucci Most Valuable Player for 2012-13, after ranking third nationally among defensemen with 32 points. 

Goaltender Adam Wilcox was honored with this year’s Frank Pond Rookie of the Year Award as well as the Tom Mohr Playoff Most Valuable Player Award and the Donald M. Clark Community Service Award. The third-team All-WCHA pick set a new Minnesota record for goals against average in a season at 1.88 (first in the WCHA, sixth in the nation) and also tied Kellen Briggs for the school rookie wins record with 25.

Junior Zach Budish was named this year’s Elwin “Doc” Romnes Leadership and Sportsmanship Award winner after captaining the squad to a share of Minnesota’s second straight WCHA regular-season championship. Budish set new career highs with 36 points and 14 goals.

The Mike Crupi Most Determined Player Award was given to sophomore Kyle Rau, whose 40 points (15 goals, 24 assists) ranked second on the team in 2012-13. Nate Condon took home the John Mayasich Outstanding Student-Athlete Award for the season after setting new career highs with 31 points and 12 goals while Justin Holl was named the Dr. V. George Nagobads Unsung Hero after tallying three goals and seven points.

Additionally, the Gophers recognized Budish and Seth Helgeson, Nick Bjugstad and Erik Haula for their contributions to the team this season. Minnesota also recognized its four All-WCHA honorees (Schmidt, Haula, Bjugstad, Wilcox), its four WCHA Scholar-Athletes (Michael Shibrowski, Condon, Rau, Budish) and first-time letterwinners (A.J. Michaelson, Mike Reilly, Ryan Reilly, Brady Skjei, Shibrowski, Wilcox).

Schmidt, Budish, Haula and Bjugstad have all signed NHL contracts. Schmidt signed as a free agent with Washington, Budish signed with Nashvile, Bjugstad signed with Florida, and Haula inked a deal with Minnesota.