Best and Most Essential (MVPs)
Best Forward – Kendall Coyne, Northeastern
I decided to split MVP into two different categories, the overall best player, and the player most essential to their team’s success.
Most Essential Forward – Kendall Coyne, Northeastern
I didn’t want to give Coyne both ends of the forward MVP, but she was both the best and the most essential forward in the country. She had 84 points to her next closest teammate Denisa Krizova’s 59 and a whopping 359 shots in 37 games, a full 222 shots above second place, Hayley Scamurra.
Coyne’s ability to drive play, and ultimately drive Northeastern, is second to none in the country.
Best Defender – Lee Stecklein, Minnesota
A lot of this certainly rides on Stecklein’s virtuoso performance in helping shut down Boston College in the NCAA championship, but she was solid all year long in college and followed it up with a solid set of games at the Women’s World Championships.
Most Essential Defender – Kelsey Koelzer, Princeton
Koelzer definitely had some help along the blueline with the emergence of freshman Stephanie Sucharda, but Koelzer really drove the Tigers’ success. She tied for the Tigers lead in goals (17) and led in shots (122). Koelzer’s injury in the ECAC tournament was the difference between an opening round loss to St. Lawrence, and a potential deep run.
Best Goaltender – Ann-Renee Desbiens, Wisconsin
There’s no doubt about it, Desbiens was the best goaltender and were it not for an incredibly deep Wisconsin team, would be a serious contender for the NCAA’s most valuable player.
Most Essential Goaltender – Brittni Mowat, Bemidji State
Mowat just edges out Harvard goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer but both share a lot of similarities. Both backstopped teams that probably would have ended up in the lower half of their respective conferences were it not for strong play in net. Harvard had a slightly deeper pool of skaters so Mowat gets the nod.
Rookies of the Year
Forward – Makenna Newkirk, Boston College
The Boston College forward led the NCAA in goals with 22 and came in second in points to Minnesota’s Sarah Potomak and just edges out Potomak and Colgate’s Megan Sullivan. What sets Newkirk apart is her play in the Hockey East tournament. She led all scorers with 3 goals and 6 assists as BC captured the Hockey East title. Sullivan led in goals with 6.
Defense – Olivia Zafuto, Colgate
Colgate made their success on their offense, coming in 9th in the country with 2.87 goals scored per game What gets lost is how solid their defense was, coming in at 13th in the country with 2.26 goals allowed. Zafuto was an enormous part of that success along with fellow defender Lauren Wildfang. She tallied 7 goals and 14 assists in her 38 games.
Goaltender – Lovisa Selander, Rensselaer
Selander stepped in for RPI and immediately made a difference, leading the Engineers to their first ECAC Tournament since 2013. There she made 123 saves over two games as the eighth seeded Engineers too the top seeded Quinnipiac Bobcats to overtime in both games.