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The All-WCHA Ballot

Everybody else is in the process of posting their All-WCHA ballots this week. I don't get an official vote, but I figured I would post my own unofficial one. Here's how I would have voted.

First Team

F-Matt Frattin, North Dakota

F- Jack Connolly, Minnesota-Duluth

F- Jason Zucker, Denver

D- Justin Schultz, Wisconsin

D- Jake Gardiner, Wisconsin

G- Kent Patterson, Minnesota

The easiest decision here was on defense, where Schultz and Gardiner were pretty clearly above the rest of the pack. The forwards seemed pretty clear to me as well. It's tough to go wrong with the top three scorers in conference play. Goalie was a tough decision between Kent Patterson and Aaron Dell. Dell was maybe more valuable to his team, as North Dakota went from average team to great team when he started taking the reins from Brad Eidsness, but I ended up going with Patterson, who had the better save percentage and had less help from his teammates.

Second Team

F-Jaden Schwartz, Colorado College

F- Mike Connolly, Minnesota-Duluth

F-Jason Gregoire, North Dakota

D-Chay Genoway, North Dakota

D-Eric Olimb, Nebraska-Omaha

G-Aaron Dell, North Dakota

Nobody seems to be putting Jaden Schwartz on their ballot, which I think is a crime. He led the league in points per game. He missed some time to injury, but still played 17 out of 28 conference games. Chay Genoway only played in 7 conference games last season and yet still made an all-conference team. Genoway was one of the only defensemen to play at the same level as Schultz or Gardiner this year, but missed over a quarter of his team's conference games again this year. Gregoire and Olimb were the toughest choices here.

Third Team

F- Drew Shore, Denver

F- Justin Fontaine, Minnesota-Duluth

F- Matt Read, Bemidji State

D- Matt Donovan, Denver

D- Kurt Davis, Minnesota State

G- Sam Brittain, Denver

Read is maybe the most controversial pick here, being furthest down the scoring list, but he also had the least amount of help. Bemidji's Jordan George would have also been a good option, but I still feel like Read is the main threat for the Beavers. Shore, Fontaine, and Donovan all got serious consideration for the second team. I was hesitant to pick someone from an 11th place team, but Minnesota State may have scored a negative amount of goals this year without Davis' offense.

All Rookie Team

F- Jason Zucker, Denver

F- Jaden Schwartz, Colorado College

F-Mark Zengerle, Wisconsin

D- Justin Faulk, Minnesota-Duluth

D-Nick Jensen, St. Cloud

G- Sam Brittain, Denver

This one felt fairly straight forward. Zucker, Brittain and Schwartz were obvious since they were all-league selections, and Faulk was a strong consideration for the third team all league. J.T. Brown had a slight edge in numbers over Zengerle, but I vaulted Zengerle ahead of him because Zengerle is the second highest scoring forward on his team, while Brown is pretty clearly the fourth priority when worrying about UMD's forwards. Jensen was far away St. Cloud's best defenseman this year, though that is perhaps damning with extremely faint praise.

Player of the Year: Matt Frattin, North Dakota

Rookie of the Year: Jason Zucker, Denver

Coach of the Year: Dean Blais, Nebraska-Omaha

I think all three of these are pretty straightforward and you won't see too many people saying otherwise, except maybe player of the year. If Schwartz had gotten a full year, he probably would have won the rookie award, and an argument could maybe even be made for him considering him how valuable he was to his team when healthy, but Zucker just scored too many goals, even if he acted like all of them were his first.

Coach of the year should be pretty much unanimous for Blais. A case could be made for Mike Eaves or Scott Owens, whose teams both exceeded expectations, but both teams sort of faltered down the stretch and ended up in the middle of the pack, whereas UNO was strong all season and finished in the top three.

Player of the year is likely where there will be the most debate, since it's pretty much a coin flip between Matt Frattin and Justin Schultz. Schultz was maybe a little more valuable to his team since Wisconsin didn't have as much to work with, but Frattin not only scored 29 goals, but just seemed to have a knack for scoring very timely goals, which was the big difference between North Dakota being a very good team in the pack with Denver, UMD, and UNO, and being an excellent team that separated from the rest of the pack.