BUFFALO NY - DECEMBER 26: Defenseman Brian Dumoulin #4 of USA fires a shot during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship game between USA and Finland on December 26 2010 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Several sophomores have been making a scene within Hockey East this season, with BC's Brian Dumoulin and Merrimack's Stephane Da Costa among those second year skaters making huge contributions. We recognize some of Hockey East's most successful sophomores with our Super Sophomore Team.
It is college hockey awards season, where post-season awards are handed out like a painfully long grade school assembly. Conferences and members of the media release All-Rookie Teams, First Teams, Second Teams, MVPs, stocked with two ends of the spectrum of student-athletes: either freshmen or seniors. In awards season, there seems to be no in-between -- sophomores seem to be a tad ignored.
But let the rookies have their teams. Let the seniors get lauded with first-team selections because they've been waiting their due. It's the sophomores' time to shine. Right here, right now, I present to you, the first ever SB Nation Boston Hockey East Super-Sophomore Team, full of sophomores that have had huge impacts on their teams down the stretch.
Riley Wetmore - UMass Lowell
In a rough season for the UMass Lowell Riverhawks, Riley Wetmore provided some offensive power. Averaging .88 points per game, the center led the Riverhawks in goals this season with 14, and finished second overall in scoring with 30. He has 45 career points already, an amount that rivals some of his senior teammates. Wetmore has found a great linemate in winger David Vallorani, who he combined with for points 14 times this season.
Stephane Da Costa - Merrimack
College hockey fans had their eyes on Da Costa as the season began, and while he didn't put up all of the numbers some expected, he is one of the most talented hockey players Merrimack has ever had. The center is currently 6th in Hockey East in points scored and 4th in power play goals. He has 14 goals and 25 assists, despite missing a few February games due to injury. This past week, Newsday's Katie Strang reported that the New York Islanders are one of many teams looking carefully at Da Costa and may try to entice him to leave school early post-season.
Alex Chiasson - Boston University
Without Chiasson, BU may have had a lot bumpier of a season than they have. Chiasson is the team's leading scorer, with 13 goals and 19 assists so far this season. He has spent most of the season on the right wing of the second line. Chiasson has 5 game-winning goals this season, good for 3rd in Hockey East for game-winning goals. He's struggled as of late, with a -5 in the two games leading up to Friday night's game against Northeastern, but his performance earlier in the season carried his team through some rough times.
Brian Dumoulin - Boston College
When you think of ever-dominant BC, you tend to think about players like Cam Atkinson, Chris Kreider, and Brian Gibbons, but it's Dumoulin who may have made some of the biggest contributions this season, and may have the most stellar pro career in his future. Dumoulin, who took a break from the Eagles in December to shore up the blue line for Team USA in the World Junior Championships, leads Hockey East in defenseman scoring with 26 assists and 2 goals. His assist total also vaults him to 3rd in overall scoring for the explosive Eagles. His teammates talk about his hockey smarts as the key to his success on both sides of the puck.
Brett Kostolansky - University of New Hampshire
Kostolansky is quietly making his mark as one of UNH's go-to defensemen. With 18 points on the season, he is second on the Wildcats on defensive scoring and boasts a +13 in +/-. He is 7th in terms of defensive scoring within Hockey East. While the Wildcats entered the season seemingly upperclassmen heavy in terms of talent, Kostolansky has shored up a spot on the first defensive pairing with the powerful junior Blake Kessel. If Kessel returns next year, that pairing will definitely maintain their status as one of the top defensive combos in Hockey East.
Chris Rawlings - Northeastern
While Rawlings has recently entered a battle for the starting job on his own team with freshman Clay Witt, his play through the rest of the season would earn him the unquestioned starting job on most college hockey teams. Rawlings is now second all-time in Northeastern program history with 8 shutouts in only his second year as starter, earning 5 this season. He shutout 4 teams within a 7 game span between Janaury and February. Third in the nation in shutouts, he is also 12th in the nation in save percentage with a .922. Northeastern head coach Greg Cronin admitted after Rawlings' shutout of Harvard in their Beanpot first round game that Rawlings has worked himself into a goaltender deserving of NHL attention, giving Cronin an interesting conundrum of having two high-quality caliber goaltenders to choose from every night.
Chris Kreider - Boston College
This left winger plays up for big games, as evidenced in his Beanpot MVP title in February.
Max Nicastro - Boston University
All over the ice, this defenseman has emerged as a consistent performer for the Terriers.
Sebastian Stalberg - Vermont
The right winger weathered the storm through a tumultuous season for the Catamounts, with 28 points to lead the team in scoring.