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2013-2014 NCHC Preview: Individual Awards

Lots of returning talent makes for some strong All-NCHC teams.

Miami's Austin Czarnik
Miami's Austin Czarnik
Larry Radloff Photography

You know this is a tough list to crack when the first team features two players that were among last year's top ten finalists for the Hobey Baker award.

Here are our individual awards for the NCHC:

1st Team All-NCHC

F- Ryan Walters, Nebraska-Omaha

F- Chase Balisy, Western Michigan

F- Austin Czarnik, Miami

D-Joey LaLeggia, Denver

D-Dillon Simpson, North Dakota

G-Ryan McKay, Miami

Walters and Czarnik were both Hobey finalists last year, and there's no reason to think they won't repeat that feat. Balisy was a huge piece of Western Michigan's offense last year, and a great two-way player. LaLeggia puts up unreal numbers for a defenseman and Simpson is one of the more underrated D in college hockey. McKay stopped almost 95% of the shots he saw last year.

2nd Team All-NCHC

F- Alex Krushelnyski, Colorado College

F-Nic Dowd, St. Cloud

F- Rocco Grimaldi, North Dakota

D-Andrew Prochno, St. Cloud

D-Kenney Morrison, Western Michigan

G-Frank Slubowski, Western Michigan

Krushelnyski, Dowd and Grimaldi were all fabulous in secondary roles last year, and this year, will be counted on to carry their teams. David Makowski was the other choice for defense.

All-Rookie Team

F- Dom Toninato, Minnesota-Duluth

F-Jake Guentzel, Nebraska-Omaha

F-Anthony Louis, Miami

D-Gustav Olofsson, Colorado College

D-Troy Stecher, North Dakota

G-Charlie Lindgren, St. Cloud

Lots of excellent choices here at both forward and defense. I went with Lindgren over Tyler Marble from CC because I think Lindgren will work his way into some playing time this year, and has some big-time potential.

Player of the Year: Austin Czarnik, Miami

Rookie of the Year: Jake Guentzel, Nebraska-Omaha

Breakout Player: Joey Benik, St. Cloud

Czarnik should be the offensive anchor on a great Miami team. Guentzel had a breakout year in the USHL last year, and should be able to carry that over into the college game. Benik missed a lot of time due to injury last year, but was a point-per-game player by the end of the year.