COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – In addition to the 118 National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) student-athletes recognized back in March, 62 NCHC freshmen and first-year transfers have now been bestowed 2020-21 NCHC Academic All-Conference Team honors for their work in the classroom over the last year, the Conference announced Wednesday. Among those 62 newcomers, 42 (67.7 percent) also earned NCHC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete recognition for their academic accomplishments following completion of their first year at their current school.
To be eligible for the NCHC Academic All-Conference Team, a student-athlete must compile a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average (or better) and have completed a full academic year at their current institution. Similarly, for NCHC Distinguished Scholar-Athletes, a student-athlete must attain a 3.5 cumulative GPA or better with a full year of academic studies. Freshmen and first-year transfers were not eligible when the honors were first announced in early March, as they had not completed a full academic year, but with the 2020-21 academic calendar complete, the newcomers are now eligible to earn NCHC academic honors. Athletic success and playing time are not criteria for these awards.
In all, a record 180 NCHC student-athletes made the 2020-21 Academic All-Conference Team, as 118 sophomores, juniors and seniors were recognized on March 4. The previous high for total members on the NCHC Academic All-Conference Team was 174 in 2016-17. Along with that, a record-shattering 109 student-athletes overall were tabbed NCHC Distinguished Scholar-Athletes this past season, including the 67 sophomores, juniors and seniors announced in March. The 109 NCHC Distinguished Scholar-Athletes are by far the most in the conference’s six years since the honor began (the previous record was 74 in 2019-20).
Among freshmen and first-year transfers only, Colorado College led the way with 13 newcomers on the NCHC Academic All-Conference Team. Western Michigan was second with nine freshmen earning Academic All-NCHC honors, while Denver and Omaha placed eight each on the quad. Miami and Minnesota Duluth saw seven newcomers earn Academic All-Conference, while all eight NCHC teams had at least four freshmen or first-year transfers added to the All-Academic Team.
Overall in 2020-21, Omaha led all NCHC teams, as they’ve done each of the NCHC’s eight seasons, by placing all 29 team members on the Academic All-Conference Team. Colorado College was second with 25 total representatives on the Academic All-NCHC Team, while Western Michigan placed 24 on the squad. Denver saw 23 student-athletes land on the All-Academic squad, while Miami and Minnesota Duluth had 22 per school. All eight NCHC programs had at least 17 total representatives on the Academic All-Conference Team this past season.
The Tigers also paced all teams with 10 newcomers being named NCHC Distinguished Scholar-Athletes in 2020-21. Western Michigan added seven Distinguished Scholar-Athletes, while Omaha had six newcomers receive the honor. Denver and UMD saw five newcomers each earn the honor, while all NCHC teams had at least two freshmen or first-year transfers collect Distinguished Scholar-Athlete honors for this past season.
As a whole in 2020-21, Omaha also once more led NCHC teams with 20 NCHC Distinguished Scholar-Athletes, while Denver and Western Michigan each produced 16 total student-athletes that collected the honor. Colorado College and Miami are home to 13 and 12 Distinguished Scholar-Athletes, respectively, this past season, while all eight teams had at least 10 NCHC Distinguished Scholar-Athletes in 2020-21.
The complete list of freshmen and first-year transfers who earned NCHC Academic All-Conference Team and Distinguished Scholar-Athlete honors in 2020-21 is below, with Distinguished Scholar-Athletes noted in bold. To see the original list of 118 NCHC Academic All-Conference Team members and 67 Distinguished Scholar-Athletes from 2020-21, click here.
ST. CLOUD STATE