Colorado College junior Nick Halloran named to all-NCHC preseason team

preseason team nchcColorado College junior forward Nick Halloran and Minnesota Duluth sophomore defenseman Scott Perunovich led the way with 24 votes apiece out of a possible 26 to make the National Collegiate Hockey Conference preseason all-league team.

Duluth and St. Cloud State each placed two players on the six-man squad, which was selected by beat and national media. The honorees were announced Tuesday in a media release as a precursor to the media day events at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Western Michigan junior Wade Allison and SCSU senior Robby Jackson were the other forwards while Perunovich was joined along the blue line by SCSU senior Jimmy Schuldt.  UMD junior goaltender Hunter Shepard was also named.

Last season, Halloran (Draper, Utah) ranked third in the NCHC with 45 points (26 assists) in 37 league games on his way to first-team All-NCHC and second-team All-America honors. In conference play, Halloran finished second in scoring with 31 points (18 assists) and is the top returning scorer in the NCHC.

Allison (Myrtle, Manitoba) garnered honorable mention All-NCHC honors a season ago, despite missing half the season due to injury. The Flyers draft pick recorded 30 points in only 22 games, while still leading the Broncos with 15 goals.

Jackson (Alameda, Calif.) was also an honorable mention in 2017-18 after finishing fifth in the conference in scoring with 42 points (27 assists) in 40 games.

Perunovich (Hibbing, Minn.) was the NCHC Rookie of the Year and Offensive Defenseman of the Year last season, while also picking up the AHCA’s Tim Taylor Award as the National Rookie of the Year, first-team All-NCHC and first-team All-America accolades. The Blues draft pick helped lead UMD to the national title last year, tallying 36 points (25 assists) in 42 games to rank second among NCHC defensemen in scoring. Perunovich led all NCHC blue liners in conference scoring with 24 points (16 assists).

Schuldt (Minnetonka, Minn.) was the top-scoring defenseman in the NCHC last year with 38 points (28 assists) in 40 games on his way to All-NCHC and All-America first-team honors. The 2018 Hobey Baker Award finalist chipped in 23 points (20 assists) in conference play last season, tying for second among blue liners.

In goal, Shepard (Cohasset, Minn.) was a second-team All-NCHC honoree last season after posting a 25-14-1 record overall, while ranking second in the NCHC with both a .925 save percentage and a 1.91 goals-against average. He also set the NCHC and UMD single-season shutouts record with eight, which tied for second nationally.

Media members voted for three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender on their ballot with each vote worth one point. The top three vote-getters at forward, top two defensemen and highest vote-getting goaltender made up the preseason all-conference team.

2018-19 NCHC Preseason All-Conference Team
F: Nick Halloran, Jr., Colorado College – 24 votes
F: Wade Allison, Jr., Western Michigan – 22
F: Robby Jackson, Sr., St. Cloud State – 13
D: Scott Perunovich, So., Minnesota Duluth – 24
D: *Jimmy Schuldt, Sr., St. Cloud State – 20
G: Hunter Shepard, Jr., Minnesota Duluth – 21

* 2017-18 Preseason All-Conference Team selection 

About paisleyhockey
I am a freelance writer specializing in sports with about 25 years of professional experience.

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