Providence, RI — While the 2016-17 season may have had ups and downs for the Northeastern hockey program, multiple players are in the midst of historical seasons, in pursuit of both personal milestones and program records. Players at forward, defense, and goaltender have been playing at levels we have not seen in Matthews Arena for decades. Below, I’ve outlined each individual player and the records they are chasing.
Zach Aston-Reese, Senior Forward
The senior from Staten Island is approaching multiple program records and is having one of the best individual seasons in program history. His 52 points already are tied for the 15th best output in a single season, and he has a very good chance at breaking into the top 10 (59 points is the benchmark). His career output of 137 points sits in a tie for 21st all time.
Aston-Reese currently has 4 shorthanded goals, tied for the most in a single season by a Husky. One more and he will hold the record himself.
He also has 12 powerplay goals, two away from tying the program record and three from setting the record.
He has played in 137 games as a Husky, sitting alone at 28th place all time.
Dylan Sikura, Junior Forward
The Blackhawks draft pick is having a season just as impressive as Aston-Reese. He has 49 points, sitting in fifth nationally in scoring and second in assists with 30. His scoring output ties him for 20th-best all time for Northeastern, and like Aston-Reese, his pace gives him a good shot at finishing with a top 10 season.
Adam Gaudette, Sophomore Forward
Drafted by the Vancouver Canucks, Gaudette has vastly outdone his impressive freshman season. Sitting at 45 points, he leads sophomores across the nation in scoring. He gives the Huskies a great chance to have three 50 point scorers for the first time since the mid-1970s.
Gaudette has 13 powerplay goals, one away from tying the single season program record and two from breaking it. With 2 games to end the season against Maine, who takes a fair amount of penalties and has a sub-par penalty kill, I like Gaudette’s chances to break that record.
John Stevens, Senior Forward
The Captain of the Huskies is one point from cracking the 100 point benchmark. He will be the 49th player in program history to reach that mark, and the second this season (Aston-Reese).
Having played 131 games in his Huskies career, Stevens has the chance to break into the Top 30 in career games played if he can shake the injury bug and play through the end of the season (135 games would be top 30).
Garret Cockerill, Junior Defenseman
After Matt Benning left school early to pursue the NHL (where he was a mainstay on the Edmonton Oilers blue line before breaking his nose), Cockerill was called upon to hold the mantle of workhorse among the defensemen. Cockerill became the first Northeastern defenseman to post consecutive 20-point seasons since Jim Fahey did it from 1999-2002, and is on pace to have the highest point total by a defenseman since Fahey’s 46 in 2001-2002.
Ryan Ruck, Sophomore Goaltender
The much-maligned goaltender has been a fixture in net since he arrived at Northeastern. His 37 games last year tied for 3rd most all time by a netminder, and he is once entering the record books at his current pace. Assuming he starts all six of the minimum remaining games, he will have 35 games played, tied for 6th best in a single season with former goalie Chris Rawlings. A trip further into the Hockey East playoffs and NCAA tournament could see him challenge Brad Thiessen’s record of 41 games in 2008-2009.
Ruck currently sits fifth all-time in career wins by a Northeastern goaltender with 33. Bruce Racine holds the record with 57. Ruck is 13 wins out of fourth place, held by Keni Gibson (46).
A less-than-fun record that Ruck is fast approaching relates to his save percentage. Currently sitting at 89.2% overall, Northeastern has not had a goaltender post a sub-90% save percentage while getting the majority of games played since the 2000-2001 season
Hockey East All-Rookie Team
Northeastern has placed a player on the Hockey East All-Rookie Team in seven of the last nine seasons, missing 2008 and 2015. This year, Matt Filipe, Ryan Shea and Jeremy Daviesall have cases to make that may see them added to the 2016-17 version of that list.
Hobey Baker Award
While no Husky has ever won the Hobey Baker Award, three have been finalists in the Hobey Hat Trick. No player since Brad Thiessen in 2008-2009 has earned that honor, although Zach Aston-Reese, Dylan Sikura, and Adam Gaudette all have solid cases that warrant their inclusion in the discussion.