By Justin Dade – Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey team announced their 2015-16 team awards and also announced the captain selections for next season.
Captain Jeff Pauluk (Sr. - Bloomington, IL) led things off earning honors for the Most Dedicated Player Award for the season.
Pauluk served as the senior leader on defense for the Blugolds this past season and contributed 13 assists while leading the penalty kill unit that killed off 87 percent of opponents' powerplays on the season. The senior also didn't commit a penalty all season while playing in all 27 games.
Adam Knochenmus (Jr. – Roseau, MN) earned the prestigious Jeff Jaraczewski Most Valuable Player Award for the year leading the team in points (39) and goals (22).
Knochenmus had a year to remember for UW-Eau Claire this past season scoring three hat tricks on the season including his dominant performance at UW-Stout on Dec. 3 where he tallied five goals in the game leading the Blugolds to the 7-0 win.
Derek Knetter (Sr. – Wausau, WI) took home the Richard O' Brien Academic Athlete Award for his outstanding performance on the ice and in the classroom.
Knetter was another key senior defenseman who led the team with an impressive +19 rating while also contributing six points on the year.
Tyler Hart (Fr. – Woodbury, WI) played very well in his first season as a Blugold earning the teams' Wallace G. Akervik Freshman of the Year Award.
Hart's playing time grew as the season went along and finished the year with a +6 rating while contributing four assists on the season.
After team voting, forward Jake Hopfner (So. – Eastpointe, MI) has earned the honors of wearing the captains' patch for the 2016-17 season.
Hopfner played very well last season contributing 16 points on the year while finishing with a +13 rating playing in all 27 games on the season.