March 17, 2014
ROSEMONT, Ill. -- University of Michigan freshman forward JT Compher (Northbrook, Ill.) was selected as the inaugural Big Ten ice hockey Freshman of the Year, as voted by a panel of Big Ten coaches and media, the conference announced Monday (March 17). Compher was a unanimous selection for the Big Ten all-freshman team.
Compher and Mac Bennett (Narragansett, R.I.) were selected to the All-Big Ten second team, while Andrew Copp (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Alex Guptill (Newmarket, Ontario) earned honorable mention. Michael Downing (Canton, Mich.) earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team, and Luke Moffatt (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) was Michigan's selection for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
Compher leads the team and Big Ten freshmen with 31 points (11G, 20A) for an average of 0.91 points per game. His assists mark is also best among Big Ten freshmen. Compher was also tops among freshmen in conference play with 20 points (8G, 12A) in 20 games, and he leads the Big Ten and is tied for fourth in the nation with three shorthanded goals on the season.
His four-point outburst (2G, 2A) on Jan. 24 at Michigan State was the most by a Michigan player since Oct. 13, 2011, when David Wohlberg had four points (G, 3A) in a 10-3 win over St. Lawrence. Compher had the most points in a game by a Michigan freshman in more than eight years in that contest. On Nov. 4, 2005, Andrew Cogliano recorded four points (2G, 2A) in an 8-5 win at Notre Dame.
Bennett was one the league's top offensive defensemen, finishing tied for sixth with 12 assists and seventh with 14 points (2G, 12A). He was tied for fifth among league defensemen this season with a plus-12 rating. Bennett returned to the lineup last Friday (March 14) against Minnesota after missing four games with an upper body injury. Despite missing four league games, he finished tied for third among Big Ten defensemen with 11 points (2G, 9A) in conference play.
Copp led Michigan with 15 goals on the season and finished the regular season with 29 points (15G, 14A). He was tied for seventh among Big Ten skaters with 16 points (7G, 9A) in 20 conference games.
Guptill recorded 16 points (7G, 9A) in 17 league games, finishing sixth in the conference at 0.94 points per game. He recorded 25 points (12G, 13A) in 30 games overall, finishing the regular season with 11 points (6G, 5A) in his last 11 games.
Downing was a physical force in conference play, earning a reputation as a big hitter and a solid two-way defenseman. Downing finished second among Michigan blueliners with 12 points (2G, 10A) and recorded 49 blocked shots on the season.
The Wolverines will return to game action on Thursday (March 20) at 2 p.m. CDT, when they will face Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
Contact: Jeffrey Weinstein