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Wisconsin men’s hockey: Cole Caufield, Ty Emberson, Tony Granato up for Big Ten awards

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While the Badgers have a lot more hockey to play, it is worth taking a moment to celebrate some individual performances.

UW Athletics Communications

The Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team doesn’t have to play in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Sunday because they are the top seed. You have to believe me because they have the trophy now to prove it!

With the rest of the conference doing battle on Sunday, the Badgers are content to wait until Monday to play the winner of Notre Dame vs. Penn State. Since we have some time to kill let’s discuss the finalists for various Big Ten conference awards since those were announced at the end of the week. The winners, along with All-Big Ten teams, will be announced on Tuesday, March 16 before the Big Ten title game.

(These are listed in the order I think they’ll finish)

Big Ten Player of the Year

  • Cole Caufield, F, Wisconsin
  • Cam York, D, Michigan
  • Jack LaFontaine, G, Minnesota

Per UWBadgers: Last season’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Caufield is a four-time Big Ten First Star of the Week — and his 24 goals and 43 points in league play put him 10 goals and points ahead of the next closest scorer. His 25 goals in all games are nine better than the closest play, while his 46 points are also best in the nation.

Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year

  • Cam York, D, Michigan
  • Ty Emberson, D, Wisconsin
  • Brock Faber, D, Minnesota

Emberson racked up three goals and seven assists for 10 points this season to help lead his team to a Big Ten title. His plus-14 is tops on the Badgers and rank in the top-10 among Big Ten skaters. Emberson anchored a UW defense that ranked second in the conference by allowing just 2.17 goals per game in league action.

Big Ten Coach of the Year

  • Tony Granato, Wisconsin
  • Bob Motzko, Minnesota
  • Mel Pearson, Michigan

The Badgers finished last season in last place in the Big Ten and were picked to finish fifth this year in the preseason poll. Needless to say they have outperformed all expectations so far and Granato has been pushing all of the right buttons. Granato won this award in 2017, his first season behind the bench in Madison.

Wisconsin plays at 3:30 p.m. CT on Monday, March 15. The entire Big Ten tournament will air on Big Ten Network starting on Sunday, March 14 at 11 a.m. CT.