COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – While many fans see the competitiveness on the ice in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) each weekend, the competitiveness also extends to the classroom where 123 NCHC student-athletes earned NCHC Academic All-Conference Team for the 2016-17 season, the conference announced Wednesday. Among the 123 honorees, 39 student-athletes were also recognized with NCHC Scholar-Athlete Team accolades for their academic achievements.
To be eligible for the NCHC Academic All-Conference Team, a student-athlete must compile a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average or better while having completed at least one academic year at his current institution. Student-athletes that have accrued a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better garner NCHC Scholar-Athlete Team distinction, in addition to Academic All-Conference. The 123 Academic All-Conference recipients are the second-most in the NCHC’s four year history (133 in 2013-14) and 25 more than a season ago, while the 39 Scholar-Athlete Team recipients are six more than last season when the NCHC Scholar-Athlete Team first switched to its current criteria.
Of the 39 student-athletes to receive NCHC Scholar-Athlete Team honors, 22 of them have posted a GPA north of 3.7, including five with a 3.9 GPA or higher. St. Cloud State junior defenseman Nathan Widman is the lone NCHC student-athlete with a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA. Omaha led all NCHC schools with 11 members on the Scholar-Athlete Team, seven of which had a GPA above 3.7, while Western Michigan placed nine on the team and Denver had six student-athletes earn the accolade.
Among the 123 Academic All-Conference Team members, six schools placed at least 15 student-athletes on the team, led again by Omaha with 19. St. Cloud State was not far behind with 17 members while Denver and Western Michigan each produced 16 student-athletes on the team.
While freshmen are not currently eligible for the NCHC Academic All-Conference or Scholar-Athlete Teams, those freshmen that achieve a cumulative 3.0 GPA or better at the conclusion of the 2016-17 academic year, will be added to the Academic All-Conference Team by the NCHC over the summer. Similarly, any freshmen who compile a 3.5 GPA or better will earn Scholar-Athlete Team honors.
The 2016-17 NCHC Senior Scholar-Athlete Award (previously Scholar-Athlete of the Year) will be announced at the NCHC Awards Celebration on Thursday, March 16 in Minneapolis, Minn. on the eve of the NCHC Frozen Faceoff.
All 123 members of the 2016-17 NCHC Academic All-Conference Team are listed below by school, with those also earning NCHC Scholar-Athlete Team distinction in bold.
NCHC Scholar-Athlete Team recipients in bold
ST. CLOUD STATE