COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - With the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) postseason beginning this weekend, the conference unveiled its 2016-17 All-Rookie Team Tuesday, which features six players representing five different NCHC teams. Denver was the lone squad to have two representatives on the team in forward Henrik Borgström and defenseman Michael Davies, while North Dakota’s Tyson Jost and Minnesota Duluth’s Joey Anderson filled the other forward spots. St. Cloud State defenseman Jack Ahcan rounded out the blue line pairing and Western Michigan’s Ben Blacker earned the All-Rookie Team nod in net.
Ahcan was the lone unanimous selection to the NCHC All-Rookie Team, earning all 14 possible first-place votes for 42 points. The three forwards were the next top-three vote-getters among the rookies with Jost and Borgström nearly unanimous, each receiving 13 first-place votes and earning 40 and 39 points, respectively. Anderson totaled 37 points and 11 first-place votes. Davies received six first-place votes and totaled 24 points, while Blacker earned eight first-place votes and 29 points, edging Minnesota Duluth’s Hunter Miska for the goaltending spot by one point (28 points, eight first-place votes).
Borgström (Helsinki, Finland) led all NCHC rookies with both 19 points and 12 goals in only 20 conference games (0.95 ppg). The Florida Panthers draft pick’s 12 goals ranked tied for third overall in conference play, with his five game-winning goals also tops among NCHC freshmen. Anderson (Roseville, Minn.) was second in the rookie scoring race with 18 points on nine goals and assists each in 23 NCHC contests, while Jost (St. Albert, Alberta) was third in freshman scoring with 15 points in only 18 NCHC games. Anderson, a New Jersey Devils prospect, and Jost, a first-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche, were also second and third, respectively, in rookie goal-scoring with Jost notching seven markers.
On the blue line, Ahcan (Savage, Minn.) tied for fourth in NCHC rookie scoring and was first among freshman defensemen with 14 points in 23 conference games, while his 10 assists led all NCHC freshmen. His nine power play points led all conference rookies as well, while he blocked 35 shots, which was third in conference play among freshmen. Completing the defensive pair is Davies (St. Louis, Mo.), who appeared in all 24 NCHC games, scoring two goals and adding six assists. His plus-17 rating led all NCHC rookies, while he blocked 20 shots. In net on the All-Rookie Team is Blacker (Oakville, Ont.), who posted a 10-4-1 record in 15 conference starts, appearing in 16 games and posting a .912 save percentage with a 2.79 goals-against average and two shutouts.
Voting was conducted by the head coaches and one student-athlete at each institution. Coaches and student-athletes 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 and players were not allowed to vote for themselves or their players/teammates.
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 Minneapolis, Minn. on Thursday, March 16.
NCHC All-Rookie Team
F: Tyson Jost, North Dakota – 40 points (13 first-place votes)
F: Henrik Borgström, Denver – 39 (13)
F: Joey Anderson, Minnesota Duluth – 37 (11)
D: Jack Ahcan, St. Cloud State – 42 (14) (unanimous)
D: Michael Davies, Denver – 24 (6)
G: Ben Blacker, Western Michigan – 29 (8)