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Two Omaha defensemen among the six players named to NCHC All-Rookie Team

Forwards from North Dakota, Western Michigan and Minnesota Duluth and goalie from Colorado College earn honors

men's hockey players compete in game at indoor arena
Minnesota Duluth forward Quinn Olson (15) shoots the puck on goal against Colorado College goaltender Kaidan Mbereko (33) at Amsoil Arena on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

The NCHC named its All-Rookie Team on Tuesday and five teams have representatives.

The All-Rookie Team includes forwards Jackson Blake (North Dakota), Ryan McAllister (Western Michigan) and Ben Steeves (Minnesota Duluth), defensemen Joaquim Lemay (Nebraska Omaha) and Jacob Guevin (Nebraska Omaha) and goalie Kaidan Mbereko (Colorado College).

Blake picked up all 15 first-team votes to be a unanimous pick, McAllister had 14 votes, Steeves has 12, Lemay and Gavin each had 11 and Mbereko had 10.

Blake (Eden Prairie, Minn.) led NCHC rookies with 29 points. The Carolina Hurricanes draft pick has been NCHC Rookie of the Month twice and had 40 points in 35 overall regular season games.

McAllister (London, Ontario) leads all NCAA freshmen in assists (34) and had 45 points in 36 games. He was a two-time NCHC Rookie of the Month and four-time NCHC Rookie of the Week.


Steeves (Bedford, N.H.) is tied for eighth in the nation in goals (20) and is tied for the national lead in power-play goals (12). He is a four-time NCHC Rookie of the Week honoree.

Lemay (St-Pierre-les-Becquets, Quebec), a Washington Capitals draft pick, has 11 points and 17 blocked shots in 29 games.

Guevin (Drummondville, Quebec) has 15 points and 26 blocked shots in 33 games.

Mbereko (Aspen, Colo.) started 22 of the Tigers' 24 NCHC games and had three shutouts. He was second in the NCHC in save percentage (.930) and he was third in goals-against average (2.26). In NCHC games, his 609 saves were the most in the conference. He is a two-time NCHC Goalie of the Month and three-time NCHC Goaltender of the Week.

Voting for the All-Rookie Team came from the eight head coaches in the NCHC and eight media members who cover the conference.

Coaches and media voted for six forwards, four defensemen and two goaltenders, awarding first-team votes for six players (three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender) and second-team votes for the other six selections. Three points were awarded for a first-team vote while one point was awarded for a second-team vote, with the most points at each position earning the honors. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players, making 15 first-place votes (45 points) the maximum a player can receive.

The NCHC will announce its All-Conference Teams on Wednesday and its individual award finalists on Thursday. Individual award winners will be announced at the annual NCHC Awards Celebration in St. Paul on March 16 on the eve of the 2023 NCHC Frozen Faceoff.


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Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com

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