MINNEAPOLIS – Nate Schmidt, Erik Haula, Nick Bjugstad and Adam Wilcox of the No. 2 Minnesota men’s hockey program were honored by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) on Thursday afternoon as the league announced its annual award winners.
Schmidt represents the Gophers this season with an All-WCHA First Team selection followed by Haula on the All-WCHA Second Team. Bjugstad and Wilcox were named to the All-WCHA Third Team.
Schmidt led Minnesota with an All-WCHA First Team selection after leading all conference defensemen with 30 points (eight goals, 22 assists). Schmidt, who picked up his second career league honor after earning Second Team accolades as a sophomore last year, also led the WCHA’s top defense and was a key player on Minnesota’s power-play unit that currently ranks first in the nation. Schmidt ranks fourth nationally in points by a defenseman and tied for sixth nationally in total power-play points.
Haula picked up his first career conference honor as a member of the All-WCHA Second Team. The junior forward paces all Gophers and ranks tied for fourth nationally with 46 points (16 goals, 30 assists) this season. Haula, who has tallied in all but five of the 33 games he has appeared in this season, is averaging more than a point a game for his career and boasted a 16-game point streak earlier this season. The junior is on pace to lead Minnesota in scoring for the second-straight season.
Minnesota’s leading goal scorer this season and an All-WCHA Third Team pick this season, Bjugstad has tallied 20 goals in 2012-13 and ranks tied for sixth nationally the category. An All-WCHA First Team selection last season, Bjugstad totaled 35 points this season including 10 power-play goals (tied for third nationally) and five game-winning goals (tied seventh nationally, one off the national lead) including three straight heading into this weekend’s WCHA playoffs.
Wilcox leads all conference goaltenders in wins this season as the rookie Gopher boasts a 23-6-5 record in his first campaign. The All-WCHA Third Team honoree ranks second in the nation in wins this year (one off the national lead) and also ranks seventh in the NCAA with a 1.85 goals against average. The rookie has started the last 33 games for the Gophers and is on pace to set a new Minnesota single-season record for goals against average. Wilcox backstopped the WCHA’s top defense this season (1.97 goals against per game, fourth nationally) and under the rookie’s watch the Gophers have not lost back-to-back games all season.
The WCHA also honored 17 members of the program with All-WCHA Academic team honors: Mark Alt, Seth Ambroz, Nick Bjugstad, Travis Boyd, Zach Budish, Nate Condon, Erik Haula, Seth Helgeson, Justin Holl, Jared Larson, Ben Marshall, Jake Parenteau, Kyle Rau, Nate Schmidt, Tom Serratore, Michael Shibrowski and Sam Warning.
Minnesota will host Bemidji State this weekend in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The best-of-three series begins this Friday at Mariucci Arena.