Final NCAA All-Stars announced

The final two conferences have announced their year-end honours as the Big Ten and Hockey East named their all-conference teams this week. As usual there was plenty of former BCHL talent included on these lists. Fresh off being named Big Ten Player of the Year, it was no surprise that Michigan State forward and Salmon Arm Silverbacks alum Taro Hirose was a unanimous choice for the conference’s First-Team All-Stars. In Hockey East, Boston University defenceman and Penticton Vees alum Dante Fabbro and UMass-Amherst forward and Powell River Kings grad Jacob Pritchard were named Second-Team All-Stars, while Providence College forward and former Merritt Centennial Brandon Duhaime was named to the Third-Team.

Big Ten

Taro Hirose (Junior, F) – Michigan State University – First-Team All-Star

The Calgary native led the Big Ten in scoring with 50 points in 36 games. His 35 assists were also tops in the conference. He was recently named Big Ten Player of the Year and was one of only two players to be unanimously selected to a Big Ten all-conference team. Over three seasons at Michigan State, Hirose totaled 116 points in 106 games. The 22-year-old spent two seasons in the BCHL playing for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks from 2014 to 2016 where he put up 121 points in 116 regular-season games. Last year he was named to the Big Ten Second-Team All-Stars. After losing to Notre Dame in the conference quarterfinals earlier this month, Hirose signed an entry-level contract with the Detroit Red Wings and picked up an assists in his first NHL game.

Hockey East

Dante Fabbro (Junior, D) – Boston University – Second-Team All-Star

The Nashville Predators 2016 first-rounder had his best season offensively for the Terriers, putting up 33 points (seven goals, 26 assists), making him the third-highest scoring defenceman in the conference and the second-highest overall on his team. Fabbro was a power-play specialist this season as five of his seven goals came with the man advantage. He also blocked 79 shots which was the most in the conference. This is the second year in a row he’s been honoured as a Second-Team All-Star. The Coquitlam native played two full seasons in Penticton from 2014 to 2016 where he had over a point a game, finishing his career with 100 points in 91 games. He also was a key part of the Vees’ 2015 run to the Fred Page Cup championship.

Jacob Pritchard (Senior, F) – University of Massachusetts – Second-Team All-Star

Pritchard had a breakout year in his first year since transferring to UMass. The 23-year-old finished second in Hockey East scoring with 45 points (16 goals, 29 assists) in in 36 games, one point behind teammate Cale Makar for the top spot. Seven of his 16 goals came with the man advantage which tied him for the conference lead in that category. He also had four game-winning goals, tying him for fourth in Hockey East. The Macomb, Mich. native spent the 2014-15 season in Powell River where he was the team’s leading scorer and fifth overall in the BCHL with 76 points in 54 games and his 39 goals were third-most in the league.

Brandon Duhaime (Junior, F) – Providence College – Third-Team All-Star

The 22-year-old finished third on the Friars with 29 points and fourth in goals with 10. Three of his goals were game-winners and two came on the power play. Duhaime, from Parkland, Fla., also exceled in other areas of the game, leading the conference with a faceoff percentage of over 60 per cent and boasting a +16 rating. He did a lot of his damage offensively against conference opponents, piling up 21 of his 29 points in those games, finishing three points back of the team lead. Duhaime played the 2014-15 season with Merritt where he had 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) in 53 regular-season games.