COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – With the regular season complete, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) unveiled its 2018-19 All-Rookie Team on Tuesday, which features players from six different teams, including two from St. Cloud State. Seven players make up this year’s NCHC All-Rookie Team, as Denver goaltender Filip Larsson and North Dakota netminder Adam Scheel shared the honor. Up front at forward on the NCHC All-Rookie Team are Minnesota Duluth’s Noah Cates, St. Cloud State’s Nolan Walker and Omaha’s Taylor Ward, while SCSU’s Nick Perbix and Colorado College’s Bryan Yoon make up the All-Rookie blue line.
Cates (Stillwater, Minn.) was the top vote-getter on the All-Rookie Team with 19 points, including six (of a possible seven) first-place votes, while Ward (Kelowna, B.C.) and Yoon (Parker, Colo.) each collected 18 points with six first-place votes. Walker (Anchorage, Alaska) received five first-place votes and 17 points, while Perbix (Elk River, Minn.) earned 14 points and four first-place votes. Both Larsson (Stockholm, Sweden) and Scheel (Lakewood, Ohio) garnered four first-place votes and 15 points.
The All-Rookie Team includes the top five freshman point-scorers in NCHC play this season, led by Ward’s 19 points in 24 games. He also tied for second among rookies with both six goals and 13 assists. Ward was a three-time NCHC Rookie of the Week and the November Rookie of the Month. Walker was second in NCHC rookie scoring with 17 points, also dishing out 13 assists, while potting four goals in only 21 games, as his 0.81 points per game led all NCHC rookies in conference play. He earned Offensive Player of the Week once and finished with a +5 plus/minus in NCHC play. Cates compiled 15 points in 24 games, tying for second with Ward with six goals, while chipping in nine assists. The Philadelphia Flyers draft pick posted a +7 plus/minus with 56 shots on goal, earning Rookie of the Week once this season.
Both All-Rookie defensemen tied with Cates for third in NCHC rookie scoring, as Perbix and Yoon each totaled 15 points in 24 games to lead freshman blue liners in points. Perbix also led NCHC rookie blue liners with five goals and handed out 10 assists, while his +11 plus/minus led freshman defensemen, as well. The Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick blocked 31 shots in conference play and was the final NCHC Rookie of the Week for the season. Yoon led all NCHC freshmen with both 42 blocked shots and 14 assists, while scoring one goal in conference play from the blue line.
The two netminders sharing All-Rookie goaltender honors compiled relatively similar numbers. Larsson led the way with a .925 save percentage and a 2.14 goals-against average, while posting a 6-4-2 record in conference play (.583 win percentage). The Detroit Red Wings draft pick started half of the conference slate (12 games), recording one shutout, and was a two-time NCHC Goaltender of the Week, along with the December Goaltender of the Month. Scheel started two-thirds of the conference schedule (16 games), posting an 8-7-1 record (.531) with a .912 save percentage and a 2.19 GAA. He earned two NCHC weekly honors throughout the season.
Voting was conducted by the eight head coaches at each institution. Coaches voted for six forwards, four defensemen and two goaltenders, awarding first-place votes for six players (three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender) and second-place votes for the other six selections. Three points were awarded for a first-place vote while one point was awarded for a second-place vote. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.
The NCHC will announce its All-Conference Teams on Wednesday and its individual award finalists on Thursday. Individual award winners will be announced at the NCHC Awards Celebration in Saint Paul, Minn. on Thursday, March 21 on the eve of the 2019 NCHC Frozen Faceoff.
NCHC All-Rookie Team
F: Noah Cates, Minnesota Duluth – 19 (6)
F: Taylor Ward, Omaha – 18 (6)
F: Nolan Walker, St. Cloud State – 17 (5)
D: Bryan Yoon, Colorado College – 18 (6)
D: Nick Perbix, St. Cloud State – 14 (4)
G: Filip Larsson, Denver – 15 (4)
G: Adam Scheel, North Dakota – 15 (4)