The Big Ten Conference regular season honors were handed out this afternoon for men’s hockey. A total of seven Badgers were recognized after the team completed their improbable second-place finish in the Big Ten standings.
The most notable accolades were given out to freshman Trent Frederic and head coach Tony Granato. Frederic was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, which is an award voted on by the coaches and the media. It is the first time that a Badgers player has been granted the honor in 17 years (Danny Heatley, ’99-’00).
Coach Granato was voted the 2017 Big Ten Coach of the Year after an impressive turnaround campaign. In just one year, Granato was able to bring the program back from a two-year stretch of just 12 combined wins, leading the Badgers to a 19-14-1 record overall. Granato is the first Badger coach to receive the honor in 40 years, dating back to the Bob Johnson era.
Sophomore Captain Luke Kunin and junior defenseman Jake Linhart joined freshman Trent Frederic as members of the All-Big Ten Second Team. Sophomore defenseman Peter Tischke and freshman goaltender Jack Berry narrowly missed the first and second teams, receiving All-Big Ten honorable mention recognition.
The awards highlight the unexpected success that the Badgers have achieved over the past few months. However, the team continues to look forward to the Big Ten Tournament and ultimately achieving a bid towards the NCAA Tournament. The puck drops Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan as the Badgers take on either Ohio State or Michigan State in semifinal action.