Check out our picks for the top players in each conference throughout men's and women's college hockey in New England.
HOCKEY EAST - Steven Whitney
Sr., forward, Boston College
The Reading, Mass., native wasn’t the highest scorer on his team — sophomore Johnny Gaudreau had 51 points to Whitney’s 45 — but his impact is more than can be measured with numbers.
Don’t get us wrong, he had those — his 26 goals led the league, and those 45 points were also second in Hockey East behind Gaudreau — but Whitney also displayed a playmaking skill that often set Gaudreau up for his own theatrics.
Whitney shone when Gaudreau was absent in the middle of the season on World Juniors duty, scoring against Minnesota and Yale, and he opened the year with a seven-game point streak. In fact, Whitney was held off of the scoresheet just nine times this year and had 12 multiple point games, including a goal and two assists in the Beanpot championship game.
Whitney also led the league in plus-minus with a plus-23 rating and had six game-winning goals, tied with Gaudreau for the league lead.
The Anaheim Ducks signed Whitney to a two-year deal after his senior year came to a close.
ECAC - Eric Hartzell
Sr., goalie, Quinnipiac
To put Hartzell’s season in perspective, no Quinnipiac forward ranked in the top 80 in the nation in points per game, and the squad still managed to spend much of the season in the top spot in the Pairwise rankings. Hartzell was the key to the best season in Bobcats program history. He posted a 30-7-5 record, posting the most wins in the nation. He also played more minutes (2,522:02) than any other goalie in the nation by more than 100 minutes. Hartzell posted a 1.57 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. In nine games against teams that made the NCAA tournament, Hartzell was 8-1-0 with a 1.45 GAA and .942 save percentage. In 42 starts, Hartzell allowed two goals or fewer in 35 games. He went 18-0-3 during a 21-game unbeaten streak from Nov. 9 to Feb. 9.
ATLANTIC - Matt Grogan
Sr., goalie, UConn
Grogan took his chance and ran with it. He had played little in his first few years behind workhorse Garrett Bartus and when he got his opportunities this year he was superb and finished with a .937 save percentage, 1.93 GAA and record of 14-4-3.
Listed as a senior, Grogan has a year of eligibility remaining.
DIVISION 3 - Joe Caveney
Sr., forward, Fitchburg State
Caveney led the MASCAC and all of Division 3 in scoring this
winter, with 17 goals and 30 assists for 47 points. His 30 assists
tied Oswego’s Paul Rodrigues for most in the country. A
Fitchburg, Mass., native and St. Bernard’s High School
product, he spent two injury-plagued seasons at Division 1
UMass-Lowell before transferring to Fitchburg State midway through
his junior year. The Falcons finished 11-14-2 overall this winter,
coming in fifth in the MASCAC but winning at fourth-place Westfield
State to reach the semifinals, before losing to top-seeded Plymouth
WOMEN’S HOCKEY EAST - Alex Carpenter
Soph., forward, Boston College
In just her sophomore season, Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) cemented her status as one of the marquee players in all of college hockey — men or women. She has played in only 71 career games, but is already in eighth place all-time on BC’s career scoring list and has 109 points over that time. Carpenter went scoreless in just four games this season, tallying a school-record 70 points (32 goals, 38 assists) in 37 games. Beyond finding the back of the net, Carpenter was one of the Eagles’ best two-way players, demonstrating her backcheck prowess during their 3-2 OT loss to eventual champion Minnesota in the Frozen Four semifinals.
WOMEN’S ECAC - Jillian Dempsey
Sr., forward, Harvard
A left wing, Dempsey closed out her senior season demonstrating strength on the defensive part of the game. The Winthrop, Mass., native is better known for being a goal scorer, but in the second half of this season, she stepped up wherever she was needed. “Jill does a lot of things off the puck that made a difference,” said Harvard head coach Katey Stone in mid-February. Despite the change in focus, she still led the Crimson with 45 points (24 goals, 21 assists) and earned ECAC First Team honors. Teammates and opposing players credit Dempsey for being a great leader and a resilient playmaker.
WOMEN’S DIVISION 3 - Tori Charron
Jr., forward, Norwich
Charron took the ice for Norwich this season after transferring from the Elmira College women’s hockey program and made an impact immediately. She tallied 44 points on 30 goals and 14 assists this season, leading Norwich to a 22-4-3 record and the ECAC East regular-season and tournament championships. She led the nation in goals per game (1.07), the only Division 3 player in the country to finish with an average over a point per game. Her performances earned her the ECAC Women’s East Player of the Year honor and a first-team All-American selection.