Schmidt named MVP of annual Gopher Hockey awards


The University of Minnesota men’s hockey team handed out its 2012-13 yearly awards Tuesday at a banquet held at TCF Bank Stadium. Many talented players were honored for their efforts that helped the Gophers earn a share of the WCHA regular season conference title.

Leading the way for Minnesota defensively was junior Nate Schmidt (St. Cloud) who was named the team’s John Mariucci Most Valuable Player. Schmidt, who recently signed with the Washington Capitals organization, left Minnesota after an impressive season, scoring 9 goals and recording 23 assists on his way to a Second Team All-American honor.

Junior Zach Budish captained the team to a 26-9-5 overall record and was named the team’s Elwin “Doc” Romnes Leadership and Sportsmanship Award winner. The Edina native also recently signed a professional contract leaving the Gophers for the Nashville Predators. He set career highs in goals scored with 14 and 36 points on the year.

A player that will be back next season for the Gophers is standout goaltender Adam Wilcox (St. Paul), who took home multiple team awards at the gala. The freshman netminder was named the Frank Pond Rookie of the Year Award winner, the Tom Mohr Playoff Most Valuable Player Award winner and for his work off the ice, the Donald M. Clark Community Service Award honoree. Wilcox set a new Minnesota record for goals against average in a season at 1.88 goals allowed per game. He was a Third Team All-WCHA goaltender as well.

Kyle Rau (Eden Prairie) was given the Mike Crupi Most Determined Player Award. The sophomore forward ranked in the top 20 nationally in scoring and recorded at least 40 points in each of his first two years at Minnesota.

Junior Justin Holl received the Dr. V. George Nagobads Unsung Hero award. Fellow junior Nate Condon took home the John Mayasich Outstanding Student-Athlete Award. Many other players were honored for their commitment to the team as letterwinners and the event gave special recognition to its outgoing group of captains.

Minnesota will begin the 2013-14 regular season with the Ice Breaker Tournament on Oct. 11, 2013 at Mariucci Arena.