Another week, another batch of alumni recognized with weekly conference awards. This time, there are four former BCHL players whose impressive performances earned them recognition. We go through it all in this week’s NCAA Roundup, presented by Johnston Meier Insurance.
CCHA Forward of the Week
A.J. Vanderbeck – Senior – Northern Michigan University (Wenatchee Wild)
Vanderbeck led the Wildcats to a split with Alaska Anchorage last week, recording a conference-best four points on two goals and two assists. He scored two goals, including a power-play tally, to go along with two helpers in a 9-1 victory over the Seawolves on Friday night, before registering a game-high nine shots on Saturday. For the week, he had a league-best 17 shots on goal.
The 25-year-old played two years with the Wild from 2016 to 2018, compiling 128 points in 104 regular-season games. In his final year with the Wild, he captained the team to their first-ever Fred Page Cup title, while finishing second in playoff scoring with 28 points in 20 games.
ECAC Hockey Forward of the Week
Matthew Verboon – Senior – Colgate University (Salmon Arm Silverbacks)
Verboon had a productive weekend when his team took on Merrimack College. After being shutout on Friday, he assisted on a power-play tally in the second period of Saturday’s game and helped jump start a third-period surge with an assist on an even-strength goal just one minute into the final frame. He scored the team’s fifth goal himself to cap off a three-goal third period for Colgate and power the team to a 5-3 win and weekend split.
Verboon spent the 2018-19 campaign in Salmon Arm, leading the team in goals (28), assists (28) and points (56). A dual citizen of Canada and Switzerland, Verboon played for the Swiss national team at the 2019 and 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship, registering seven points in 12 games over the two tournaments.
ECAC Hockey Defenceman of the Week
Jayden Lee – Senior – Quinnipiac University (Langley/Powell River)
Lee contributed in a big way during both of the Bobcats games against Maine over the weekend. He blocked three shots in the first period of Saturday’s 4-0 loss, then tallied two points in Sunday’s 6-2 win, including an assist on Quinnipiac’s go-ahead goal in the second period and his first goal of the season to send his team home with a weekend split.
Lee played two years in the BCHL, the first with the Langley Rivermen and the second with the Powell River Kings. His breakout season came in 2018-19 with the Kings where he had 36 points in 55 games to finish tied for 12th in scoring among BCHL blueliners.
NCHC Forward of the Week
Grant Cruikshank – Graduate – St. Cloud State University (Penticton Vees)
Cruikshank continued his strong start to his St. Cloud State career, tallying five points to help the Huskies sweep Minnesota State. In Friday’s series opener, the transfer from the University of Minnesota rallied SCSU to a 3-2 win. He scored the game-tying goal late in the second period and then set up the game-winning goal early in the third period with a primary assist on the power play. The next night, Cruikshank compiled three points, including book-ending the scoring in a 4-3 victory. He opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal, then tallied a helper on St. Cloud’s second goal, before scoring the game-winner with less than four minutes remaining in regulation to break a 3-3 tie.
The 1998-born forward played with the Penticton Vees for two years from 2016 to 2018. He registered 53 points in 57 games his rookie year to finish second in team scoring. He added another six goals and six assists in 21 playoff games en route to the Vees Fred Page Cup championship in 2017. He was named team captain the following year and totaled 21 points in 25 games before suffering a season-ending injury.