10 BCHL alums honoured with NCAA recognition

Photo credit: BSU Photo Services (Sillinger)

NCAA conferences handed out weekly and monthly awards this week and the BCHL was well-represented as 10 former players from the league were honoured.

Atlantic Hockey Player of the Month

Nick Hutchison – Senior – Canisius College (Salmon Arm Silverbacks)

Hutchison kicked his senior season into high gear in December, helping Canisius pick up some conference points and move out of the basement of Atlantic Hockey. He had seven points in just four games played, with four of his seven points coming on goals. He tied for second in Atlantic Hockey in points scored, one behind leader Blake Christensen, but Hutchison accumulated his points in three fewer games giving him one of the best points per game marks of any player in December.

The Hicksville, N.Y. native played two seasons in Salmon Arm, totaling 52 points in 63 career regular-season games.

Hockey East Rookie of the Month

Jacques Bouquot – Freshman – University of Vermont (Chilliwack Chiefs)

Bouquot was second in the conference and tied for first among Hockey East rookies with five points in December on two goals and three assist. The freshman forward also tied for fifth in Hockey East and first among rookies with a plus-five rating across four games in December, while assisting on two game-winning goals. Nationally, he tied for fourth with five points and his plus-five rating was best among any first-year player. He assisted on both game-winning goals in the Catamount Cup, helping lift Vermont to the tournament title to begin the second half of the 2019-20 season.

After starting last year with the Wenatchee Wild, the 19-year-old played the majority of the season with Chilliwack, finishing the season with 29 points in 36 regular-season games.

NCHC Goalie of the Month

Adam Scheel – Sophomore – University of North Dakota (Penticton Vees)

Scheel repeated as NCHC Goaltender of the Month after backstopping North Dakota to a 2-0-0 record in December, as he played every minute in UND’s only two NCAA games in the month. He allowed just two goals during that stretch, including only one even strength. Scheel’s .971 save percentage in December led the NCHC and ranked fourth nationally, while his 0.97 goals-against average was second in the conference and seventh in the NCAA.

The 20-year-old from Lakewood, Ohio had a 19-12-3 record in 2017-18 with Penticton and was named a Second-Team All-Star after finishing with the second-best goals-against average in the league with a mark of 2.08 and the fourth-highest save percentage at .927.

ECAC Player of the Week

Odeen Tufto – Junior – Quinnipiac University (Vernon Vipers)

Tufto recorded five points (one goal, four assists) last week, which was tied for the most in both ECAC Hockey and across the country. He scored the eventual game-winner and added two assists in a 6-1 win over Harvard on Friday, before dishing out two more assists against Dartmouth on Saturday to help the Bobcats earn the weekend sweep. The junior now ranks fourth in the nation in assists with 19.

The Chaska, Minn. native played the 2015-16 season in Vernon where he led the team in goals (25), assists (40) and points (65).

ECAC Rookie of the Week

Ethan Leyh – Freshman – Quinnipiac University (Langley Rivermen)

Leyh played a key role for the Bobcats this weekend, as they extend their winning streak to five straight games since Nov. 30. The freshman scored a goal in each game and added an assist against Dartmouth for a three-point weekend. He was second among all ECAC Hockey rookies with a +3 on-ice rating.

The 18-year-old from Port Moody, B.C. spent two seasons with the Rivermen from 2017 to 2019, finishing his BCHL career with 75 points in 109 regular-season games and leading Langley in scoring in his final season.

WCHA Forward of the Week

Owen Sillinger – Sophomore – Bemidji State University (Penticton Vees)

Sillinger recorded a team-high five points to lead the Beavers to a WCHA series sweep of Ferris State over the weekend. The sophomore recorded the first multi-assist game of his 58-game college career Friday assisting on three of the Beavers’ five goals, including the game-winner and a short-handed goal to put the game out of reach. Saturday, he added a goal and an assist in the Beavers 4-1 victory.

Sillinger, the son of former NHLer Mike Sillinger and brother of current Penticton forward Lukas Sillinger, played three years with the Vees from 2015 to 2018, putting up 153 points in 171 regular-season games. He was named captain in his final BCHL season and led the team in scoring with 67 points, good enough to tie him for sixth overall in the league.

Big 10 2nd Star of the Week

Jack LaFontainte – Junior – University of Minnesota (Penticton Vees)

LaFontaine backstopped the Gophers to the Mariucci Classic title, closing out 2019 with wins over Bemidji State and St. Cloud State. He made 52 saves on 55 shots over the weekend, posting a .945 save percentage and a 1.50 goals-against average. The 22-year-old was named the Mariucci Classic Most Valuable Player and earned a spot on the Mariucci Classic All-Tournament Team.

After starting his collegiate career with the University of Michigan, LaFontaine played last season with the Vees before transferring to Minnesota this year. The Mississauga, Ont. native finished second in both save percentage (.923) and goals-against average (2.19) in 2018-19, while finishing with three shutouts. He was named a First-Team All-Star as well as the BCHL’s Top Goaltender.

Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week

Ty Taylor – Sophomore – University of New Hampshire (Vernon Vipers)

Taylor went 2-0-0 on the week allowing only two goals with a 1.00 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage. He made 46 saves on 48 shots. Taylor recorded a career-best 28 saves on Friday in a 4-1 win versus Yale, while he made 18 saves on Saturday in a 5-1 win versus Brown. Taylor is 5-0-0 this season with a 1.98 goals against average and a .912 save percentage.

He is a co-winner of the award along with Providence College goaltender Michael Lackey.

The Richmond, B.C. native played two seasons in Vernon and finished his BCHL career with a 36-17-5 record. In 2017-18, Taylor led the league in all major goaltending stats, won the league’s Top Goaltender award, was named a First-Team All-Star and even got his name into the league’s record books. His seven shutouts that year are tied for the most all-time in a single BCHL season, his 1.87 goals-against average was the fouth-best all time and his .931 save percentage ties him for the sixth-highest.

He was drafted in the seventh round by the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

NCHC Defenceman of the Week

Slava Demin – Sophomore – University of Denver (Wenatchee Wild)

Demin had a big weekend at both ends of the ice, helping Denver sweep then-No. 9 Massachusetts last weekend in a rematch of last year’s Frozen Four. The Vegas Golden Knights draft pick compiled three points in the series, all in Friday’s 4-2 comeback win, marking a single-game career high, while it was also his first multi-point game this season.

The 19-year-old from Cypress, Calif. played two seasons in Wenatchee from 2016 to 2018, winning a league championship and a Doyle Cup in his final year. He finished his BCHL career with 72 points in 110 regular-season games and another 12 in 30 playoff games. He was named a Second-Team All-Star at the end of the 2018 season, then was drafted in the fourth round by Vegas at the NHL Entry Draft.

Atlantic Hockey Defensive Player of the Week

Matt Slick – Sophomore – College of the Holy Cross (Chilliwack Chiefs)

Slick led all defencemen in scoring last week and tied for 12th in blocks during Holy Cross’ weekend sweep of Mercyhurst. He had two goals and two assists with one goal coming in each game. Slick also added two assists in Holy Cross’ 7-2 win on Saturday, giving him his first multi-point game of the season. He had the game-winning goal on Saturday night and added three blocks in the two games.

The Anover, N.H. native played the 2017-18 season with the Chiefs and put up 12 points while playing in all 58 regular-season games. He went on to win a National Championship that May when the Chiefs hosted and won the 2018 RBC Cup.

NCAA Milestones

A few more freshman alums notched their first NCAA goals since we last checked in.

  • Ryan Brushett – Nebraska-Omaha (Powell River Kings) – Jan. 3 vs. Maine
  • Grayson Constable – Holy Cross (Salmon Arm Silverbacks) – Dec. 28 vs. Canisius
  • Mark Gallant – Dartmouth (Langley Rivermen) – Jan. 3 vs. Princeton
  • Jayden Lee – Quinnipiac (Powell River Kings) – Dec. 28 vs. Princeton
  • David Melaragni – Canisius (Cowichan Valley Capitals) – Dec. 28 vs. Holy Cross
  • Pito Walton – Princeton (Coquitlam Express) – Jan. 3 vs. Dartmouth
  • Teddy Wooding – Yale (Vernon Vipers) – Jan. 7 vs. Vermont