The Wisconsin men’s hockey team handed out its nine player awards Thursday at a team gathering at the Kohl Center.
Leading the way was junior defenseman Justin Schultz who took home both the Dr. Joseph Coyne Most Consistent Award and the Spike Carlson Award as the team’s most valuable player, which was one of three awards the team voted for.
The two honors are just the latest in a strong off-season award for Schultz. The West Kelowna, British Colombia native has been named a First Team All-American, WCHA Defensive Player of the Year and a Top-10 Finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. He led the Badgers with 16 goals on the season—the first time in UW history a blue liner has done so—and the nation’s defenseman in points with 44.
Junior forward Ryan Little won the Fenton Kelsey, Jr. Award, given to player judged to be the most competitive on the team. Little tallied 10 points, but certainly earned the respect of teammates when he played for weeks with a severely injured hand during the season. Little also won the Ivan B. Williamson Award for Academic/Athletic Excellence after being a member of the WCHA All-Academic team for the second-straight year.
The Otto Breitenbach Most Improved Player Award winner was freshman forward Brendan Woods. Woods recorded five goals and 10 points this past season, and his improvement could be seen as head coach Mike Eaves moved Woods to the second line center position near the end of the season.
The final award of the night was the Jim Santilli Seventh Man Award, which was awarded to senior defenseman Eric Springer. Viewers of Badger hockey on Wisconsin Public Television voted for the award on the basis of which player left it all on the ice each time he played and best represents the Badger values of team spirit and sportsmanship.
The team also handed out awards for the players who led the team in hits (Little), blocked shots (sophomore defenseman Frankie Simonelli) and faceoffs (sophomore forward Mark Zengerle).