As one of the nation's top college hockey conferences, Hockey East boasts some of the game's top rivalries along with a solid crop of up-and-coming players in the sport.
Last season, UNH senior Bobby Butler brought home the prestigious Hockey East Player of the Year award after leading the conference with 21 goals and tying for the lead with 41 total points in 27 games played. Butler now plays for the Ottawa Senators.
But who will take the Hockey East honors this season?
Paul Thompson could bring the award back to UNH for the second straight season, as the Wildcat senior leads Hockey East in conference goals (23) and in points (41). The impressive stat line ranks Thomson fifth in the country in scoring.
Boston College's highly skilled forward, Cam Atkinson, is not far behind Thompson's lead, however, and he never seems to slow down. Atkinson is just two goals behind Thompson, and has four game-winning goals on the year.
Maine junior Gustav Nyquist continues to make an impact on his team and on the conference. The talented forward is up for the Hobey Baker again this season and leads the Black Bears in points with 32.
Another forward that has garnered a lot of respect this season is Merrimack forward Stephane Da Costa. The speedy sophomore has catapulted his team into the top four in the Hockey East standings and leads the Warriors in conference points (36) and assists (23).
Last but definitely not least is Northeastern senior Wade MacLeod. The skilled senior gave the top-ranked Eagles a run for their money in the Beanpot final, and definitely knows how to bring his game in clutch situations, leading his team in game-winning goals this season.
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