In advance of what the Denver Pioneers hope will be a two-win weekend at the NCHC Frozen Faceoff in St. Paul this weekend, DU made a strong showing at Thursday night’s league award ceremony.
Sophomore forward Henrik Borgström won both of the awards for which he was a finalist, being named the NCHC’s Player of the Year and Forward of the Year. Senior Tanner Jaillet repeated as the conference’s Goalie of the Year. Both players were also named to the All-Conference First Team and will be seeking national awards in the coming weeks.
Borgström, a 2016 draft pick of the Florida Panthers, took college hockey by storm in his freshman season a year ago, totaling 43 points in Denver’s championship season. As a sophomore, he has proven himself equally if not more dangerous as an offensive threat, leading the team with 49 points and 21 goals (both league highs) to date. Borgström has come up big in key spots all season for the Pioneers, earning three game-winning goals and scoring seven for DU’s potent power play.
Borgström was named one of the ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Award this week, given to the top player in the nation at the Frozen Four in April. Denver fans can cast a vote for Borgström on the Hobey Baker website. For his NCHC honors, Borgström beat out Omaha forward David Pope, St. Cloud State’s Jimmy Schludt and Colorado College’s Nick Halloran.
Jaillet has now been a mainstay at the NCHC awards throughout his storied four-year career with the Pioneers. Perhaps most remarkable about Jaillet has been his consistency and reliability — this season, he has nearly matched the career-best marks from a stellar junior season. In 2017-18, he has allowed 1.90 goals per game and recorded a .927 save percentage, both league bests. His 19 wins this season bring him to 79 in his collegiate career.
The conference award is not the only Jaillet will be seeking for a second time this season, as he once again was named a finalist for the Mike Richter Award as the nation’s top goaltender. The finalist list will be narrowed to five after this weekend’s conference championships and the winner will be awarded at the Frozen Four in St. Paul. Jaillet beat out Minnesota Duluth’s Hunter Shepard and St. Cloud State’s David Hrenak, both also Richter Award finalists, for the NCHC award.
Denver’s Troy Terry and Dylan Gambrell were honored for their Second Team All-NCHC selections. Gambrell (Three Stars Award) and defenseman Ian Mitchell (Freshman of the Year) were also finalists for awards Thursday, but did not win.