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USHL Alumni Take Home NCAA Top Honors

04/13/2020, 3:00pm CDT

Scott Perunovich (Minnesota-Duluth) is 13th USHL Alumnus to Win Hobey Baker Award, Jeremy Swayman (Maine) 5th to Win Mike Richter Award

Photo Credit: Rick Boots Photography & Sioux Falls Stampede

The NCAA announced on Saturday the recipients of both the Hobey Baker Award and Mike Richter Award, as well as first and second team All-Americans. Scott Perunovich, a junior defenseman at the University of Minnesota Duluth, and Jeremy Swayman, a junior goaltender at the University of Maine, were named the Hobey Baker and Mike Richter Award winners, respectively. Perunovich played the 2016-17 season for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders while Swayman appeared in 32 games for the Sioux Falls Stampede during the same season.

The Hobey Baker award is given annually to the top NCAA men’s ice hockey player. Perunovich is the 13th USHL alumnus to take home the award, and marks the third time in the last three seasons a USHL alumnus has won the award (Adam Gaudette, 2017-18 & Will Butcher, 2016-17).

Hobey Baker Award Winners

Name Position NCAA Team Season USHL Team (Season)
Scott Perunovich D University of Minnesota Duluth 2019-20 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2016-17)
Adam Gaudette F Northeastern University 2017-18 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2014-15)
Will Butcher D Denver University 2016-17 Dubuque Fighting Saints (2010-11) & USA Hockey NTDP (2011-13)
Jack Eichel F Boston University 2014-15 USA Hockey NTDP (2012-14)
Johnny Gaudreau F Boston College 2013-14 Dubuque Fighting Saints (2010-11)
Drew LeBlanc F St. Cloud State University 2012-13 Chicago Steel (2006-08)
Jack Connolly F University of Minnesota Duluth 2011-12 Sioux Falls Stampede (2007-08)
Andy Miele F Miami University 2010-11 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2005-07) & Chicago Steel (2006-08)
Matt Carle D Denver University 2005-06 USa Hockey NTDP (2001-02) & River City Lancers (2002-03)
Marty Sertich F Colorado College 2004-05 Sioux Falls Stampede (2001-02)
Peter Sejna F Colorado College 2002-03 Des Moines Buccaneers (1998-00)
Jordan Leopold D University of Minnesota 2001-02 USA Hockey NTDP (1997-98)
Tony Hrkac F University of North Dakota 1986-1987 Madison Capitols Assistant Coach (2014-15)

Perunovich, who had 40 points in 34 games this season, was part of an illustrious Bulldogs program during his time at UMD, with the Bulldogs winning back-to-back NCAA national championships during his freshman and sophomore seasons. Minnesota Duluth was ranked fifth at the time of the NCAA’s cancelled season. Perunovich ranked second in NCAA defensive scoring this season and finished his NCAA career with 105 points (20-85-105) in 115 games.

During his Bulldogs career, Perunovich racked up the hardware with two NCAA (West) First Team All-American Honors (2017-18, 2019-20), one (West) Second Team All-American Honor (2018-19), three NCHC First Team Awards, two NCAA national championships, three NCHC Best Offensive Defenseman awards, one NCAA All-Tournament Team honor (2017-18), NCHC Rookie  of the Year (2017-18), NCHC Player of the Year (2019-20), NCHC Scoring Champion (2019-20), NCHC Three Stars Award (2019-20), and was also named the NCAA Top Collegiate Rookie (Tim Taylor Award) during the 2017-18 season.

Perunovich was signed by the St. Louis Blues on March 27 to a two-year entry-level deal, forgoing his senior year at Minnesota Duluth. The Blues originally selected the Hibbing, Min. native 45th overall (2nd Round) in the 2018 NHL Draft.

When the NCAA announced its original list of 78 names eligible for Hobey Baker Award voting, 56 of those names were USHL alumnus. The list was then narrowed down to 10, featuring nine USHL alumnus, before the “Hobey Baker Hat Trick” was announced, featuring a pair of USHL alumni: Perunovich and Swayman.

The Mike Richter Award is given annually to the best goaltender in NCAA Division I men’s hockey. Swayman is the fifth USHL alumnus to take home the honor in its seven-year history. His win also marks back-to-back seasons that a former USHL netminder won the award after Cayden Primeau’s win last season.

Mike Richter Award Winners

Name NCAA Team Season USHL Team (Season)
Jeremy Swayman University of Maine 2019-20 Sioux Falls Stampede (2016-17)
Cayden Primeau Northeastern University 2018-19 Lincoln Stars (2016-17)
Cale Morris Notre Dame University 2017-18 Chicago Steel (2013-15) & Waterloo Black Hawks (2014-16)
Thatcher Demko Boston College 2015-16 Omaha Lancers (2011-12) & USA Hockey NTDP (2012-13)
Zane McIntyre University of North Dakota 2014-15 Fargo Force (2010-12)

Swayman is coming off a fantastic junior season in which he was named the Hockey East Player of the Year and led the conference in saves (782) and save percentage (.932) while finishing in a tie for the Hockey East-lead with three shutouts. The Anchorage, Alaska native also led the NCAA in saves (1,099) while his .939 save percentage was second in the nation. Swayman finished with an 18-11-5 record and made 30-or-more saves in 25 games this season, including five games with 40-or-more saves.

The former Sioux Falls Stampede netminder (2016-17) appeared in 100 NCAA games in three seasons at Maine. Swayman, like Perunovich, decided to forgo his senior season by signing his entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins on March 17. The Bruins originally selected Swayman 111th overall (4th Round) in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Swayman’s Mike Richter Award will fit in nicely with the other awards he picked up during his NCAA career, including NCAA (East) First Team All-American (2019-20), Hockey East Goaltender of the Year (2019-20), NCAA Walter Brown Award (2019-20), All-USCHO Second Team (2019-20), Hockey East First Team (2019-20), Hockey East All-Rookie Team (2017-18), and Hockey East Third Team (2018-19).

First Team All-Americans (East)

Name Position NCAA Team USHL Team (Season)
Jeremy Swayman G University of Maine Sioux Falls Stampede (2016-17)
David Farrance D Boston University USA Hockey NTDP (2015-17)
Jack Rathbone D Harvard University Youngstown Phantoms (2016-17)
Morgan Barron F Cornell University Sioux City Musketeers (2016-17)
John Leonard F University of Massachusetts Green Bay Gamblers (2015-17)
Jack Dugan F Providence College Chicago Steel (2017-18)

First Team All-Americans (West)

Name Position NCAA Team USHL Team (Season)
Dryden McKay G Minnesota State University Green Bay Gamblers & Madison Capitols (2015-18)
Scott Perunovich D University of Minnesota Duluth Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2016-17)
Hugh McGing F Western Michigan University Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2014-16)
Marc Michaelis F Minnesota State University Green Bay Gamblers (2014-16)

Second Team All-Americans (East)

Name Position NCAA Team USHL Team (Season)
Mike Lee D Sacred Heart University Tri-City Storm (2013-14)
Nick Abruzzese F Harvard University Chicago Steel (2017-19)
Jason Cotton F Sacred Heart University Tri-City Storm (2012-13)
Tyler Madden F Northeastern University Central Illinois Flying Aces & Tri-City Storm (2017-18)
Name Position NCAA Team USHL Team (Season)
Cole Hults D Penn State University Madison Capitols (2014-17)
Connor Mackey D Minnesota State University Green Bay Gamblers (2015-17)
Alec Rauhauser D Bowling Green State University Des Moines Buccaneers (2013-16)
Noah Cates F University of Minnesota Duluth Omaha Lancers (2015-18)
Cole Koepke F University of Minnesota Duluth Sioux City Musketeers (2016-18)
Nate Sucese F Penn State University Dubuque Fighting Saints (2013-16)

USHL alumni also comprised 20 of the 25 AHCA/CCM Hockey Men’s Division I All-Americans. Former USHL athletes made a clean sweep of the First Team honors in the East, took six of the seven positions on the Second Team in the West and accounted for four of the six honorees for First Team West and Second Team East.

The USHL now has 142 all-time First Team All-Americans and 151 Second Team All-Americans. In the West, the USHL has produced at least one First Team All-American for 10-straight seasons and 25 of the last 26 seasons. This was the first season that USHL alumni swept the First Team honors in the East, but marked the 18th-straight season with at least one First Team honoree.

Cal Burke, a senior forward at University of Notre Dame, was named one of the five finalists for the 2019-20 Humanitarian Award. Burke, an undrafted native of Boxborough, Mass., appeared in 121 games for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2013-16) and signed a one-year deal with the Colorado Eagles (AHL) for the 2020-21 season on March 18.

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 18th season as the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league in 2019-20. The USHL had 55 players selected at the 2019 NHL Draft, and more than 800 alumni are currently on NCAA Division I rosters, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.

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