St. Cloud State University center Drew LeBlanc and defenseman Nick Jensen have received two of the WCHA’s top awards.
LeBlanc, a senior from Hermantown, became the first player to be named the WCHA
Player of the Year and the WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year. LeBlanc leads NCAA Division I players in assists (34) and is fourth nationally in points (46). He came back for a fifth season with the Huskies after suffering two broken bones in his leg early last season.
LeBlanc, a math education major, was named to a WCHA Scholar-Athlete for a fourth time a few weeks ago. LeBlanc is the second St. Cloud State player to be named WCHA Player of the Year (Mark Hartigan, 2001-02) and the second to be named WCHA Student Athlete of the Year (Kyle McLaughlin, 1998-99).
Jensen, a junior from Rogers, is the first St. Cloud State player to be named WCHA
Defensive Player of the Year. Jensen, an All-WCHA third team pick last season, is fifth on the team in scoring (28 points) and second on the team in plus/minus (plus-17).
LeBlanc and Jensen were named to the All-WCHA first team. They are the first St. Cloud State players to receive that honor since forward Ryan Lasch in 2008-09. Jensen is the first defenseman from St. Cloud State named to the first team since Mike Pudlick in 1999-2000.
Freshman shut out
St. Cloud State had three freshmen on the All-WCHA Rookie Team ballot, but none were named to the team.
Freshman forward Jonny Brodzinski, tied for fourth in WCHA play in goals with 16, led WCHA freshmen in goals and leads Division I in plus/minus (plus-26).
Freshman forward Kalle Kossila, who tied for third in WCHA play in points (26) among freshmen, also was not named to the All-Rookie team.
Defenseman Ethan Prow, a freshman from Sauk Rapids, also was not named to the All-Rookie team. Prow had 10 points and
was a plus-4 in WCHA play.
Other WCHA awards
The other players joining LeBlanc and Jensen on the All-WCHA first team were Nebraska-Omaha junior forward Ryan Walters, North Dakota senior forward Danny Kristo, Minnesota junior defenseman Nate Schmidt and Minnesota State-Mankato freshman goalie Stephon Williams. Schmidt is a St. Cloud Cathedral High School graduate.
Williams was named WCHA Rookie of the Year and former St. Cloud State player and assistant coach Mike Hastings was named WCHA Coach of the Year. Hastings is in his first season as the head coach at Minnesota State-Mankato.
Drew LeBlanc (Senior, Forward, St. Cloud State), Ryan Walters (Jr., F, Nebraska-Omaha), Danny Kristo (Sr., F, North Dakota), Nick Jensen (Jr., D, St. Cloud State), Nate Schmidt (Jr., D, Minnesota) and Stephon Williams (Fr., G, Minnesota State-Mankato).
Corban Knight (Sr., F, North Dakota), Erik Haula (Jr., F, Minnesota), Rylan Schwartz (Sr., F, Colorado College), Joey LaLeggia (So., D, Denver), Mike Boivin (Sr., D, Colorado College) and Juho Olkinuora (So., G, Denver).
Matt Leitner (So., F, Minnesota State-Mankato), Nick Bjugstad (Jr., F, Minnesota), Eriah Hayes (Sr., F, Minnesota State-Mankato), Andrej Sustr (Jr., D, Nebraska-Omaha), Jake McCabe (So., D, Wisconsin) and Adam Wilcox (Fr., G, Minnesota).
Tony Cameranesi (Fr., F, Minnesota-Duluth), Alex Petan (Fr., F, Michigan Tech), Rocco Grimaldi (Fr., F, North Dakota), Nolan Zajac (Fr., D, Denver), Andy Welinski (Fr., D, Minnesota-Duluth) and Williams (Fr., G, Minnesota State-Mankato).
WCHA Player of the Year
WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year
WCHA Defensive Player of the Year
WCHA Rookie of the Year
WCHA Coach of the Year
Mike Hastings (MSU-Mankato).