College Hockey Weekly - Copyright 2012
By: College Hockey Weekly Editorial Staff
College Hockey Weekly has put together their list for the best college hockey players from this past decade. While it might be tempting to look at post-college play, only the play within this decade was used to determine the players on the list. The time period that we looked at was the 1999-2000 season through the 2008-2009 season. Enjoy!
2000s All-Decade First Team
Goalie: Ryan Miller (Michigan State: 1999-2002)
1999-2000: 16-5-3 (.729), 1.54 GAA - 2nd Team All-CCHA, All-CCHA Rookie Team
2000-2001: 31-5-4 (.825), 1.33 GAA - Hobey Baker Award Winner, 1st Team All-American, All-CCHA
2001-2002: 26-9-5 (.713), 1.77 GAA - Hobey Baker Award Finalist, 1st Team All-American, All-CCHA
Career: 73-19-12 (.760), 1.54 GAA
Ryan Miller was a dominant goalie for the Michigan State Spartans, capturing the Hobey Baker Award his Sophomore year. Miller also set the NCAA Record for Save Percentage in the 2000-2001 season with a .950 Save Percentage. A two-time 1st team All-American, Miller led the Spartans to the Frozen Four in 2001, but fell to the defending national champion North Dakota. Arguably the greatest American-born goalie of all-time, Miller is our choice for the All-Decade First Team.
Defense: Matt Carle (Denver: 2003-2006)
2003-2004: 5-21-26 - All-WCHA Rookie Team
2004-2005: 13-31-44 - 1st Team All-American, All-WCHA
2005-2006: 11-42-53 - Hobey Baker Award Winner, 1st Team All-American, All-WCHA
Matt Carle was a leading force on the Denver blueline during their back-to-back National Championships, and took home the Hobey Baker Award following the 2005-2006 season. In doing so, Carle became the only Junior Defensement to ever win the award. Perhaps Denver's best defensement in decades, Carle was productive both in the offensive capacity, but also in his own zone. Given his success, it is no wonder that Carle makes our All-Decade First Team.
Defense: Matt Gilroy (Boston University: 2005-2009)
2006-2007: 9-17-26 - 2nd Team All-American, 1st Team All-Hockey East
2007-2008: 6-15-21 - 1st Team All-American, All-Hockey East
2008-2009: 8-29-37 - Hobey Baker Award Winner, 1st Team All-American, All-Hockey East
Matt Gilroy, the only defensemen in the decade to be a three-time All-American, was the defensive captain for the Boston University Terriers, and led BU to the National Title in 2009. That same year, Gilroy edged teammate Colin Wilson for the Hobey Baker Award. After a strong freshman campaign, Gilroy bloomed into the top defensemen in the country, and an All-Decade First Teamer.
Forward: Jeff Panzer (North Dakota: 1997-2001)
1997-1998: 14-23-37 - All-WCHA Rookie Team
1998-1999: 21-26-47 - 2nd Team All-WCHA
1999-2000: 19-46-65 - Hobey Baker Award Finalist, 1st Team All-American, All-WCHA
2000-2001: 26-55-81 - Hobey Baker Award Finalist, 1st Team All-American, All-WCHA
While Jeff Panzer played the first half of his college career in the 1990s, it was his play in the 2000s that puts him on this list. A two-time All-American and Hobey Finalist, Panzer led North Dakota to a National Championship in 2000, and a runner-up finish in 2001. Panzer also brought the Sioux three MacNaughton Cups, and a Broadmoor Trophy.
Forward: Brian Gionta (Boston College: 1997-2001)
1997-1998: 30-32-62 - 2nd Team All-American, All-Hockey East, All-Hockey East Rookie Team
1998-1999: 27-33-60 - Hobey Baker Award Finalist, 1st Team All-American, All-Hockey East
1999-2000: 33-23-56 - Hobey Baker Award Finalist, 1st Team All-American, All-Hockey East
2000-2001: 33-21-54 - Hobey Baker Award Finalist, 1st Team All-American, All-Hockey East
Brian Gionta was usually in a class all of his own. The Eagle great was a four-time All-American, led the Eagles to the National Championship game three times, and captained Boston College to the 2001 National Championship. His senior season was remarkable, and perhaps best known for scoring 5 goals on his first five shots against Maine that year. Gionta is a must All-Decade First Teamer.
Forward: T.J. Hensick (Michigan: 2003-2007)
2003-2004: 12-34-46 - 1st Team All-CCHA, All-CCHA Rookie Team
2004-2005: 23-32-55 - Hobey Baker Award Finalist, 1st Team All-American, All-CCHA
2005-2006: 17-35-52 - 2nd Team All-CCHA
2006-2007: 23-46-69 - Hobey Baker Award Finalist, 1st Team All-American, All-CCHA
T.J. Hensick was a force to be reckoned with from the moment he hit the ice as a Michigan Wolverine. Hensick never played in a Frozen Four, but that didn't stop him from putting up electric numbers. While some character issues may have prevented Hensick from winning the 2007 Hobey Baker Award, his dominance in the CCHA lands him on our All-Decade First Team.
2000s All-Decade Second Team
Goalie: Curtis McElhinney (Colorado College: 2001-05)
2001-2002: 6-0-1 (.929), 2.04 GAA
2002-2003: 25-6-5 (.764), 2.37 GAA, 2nd Team All-American, 1st Team All-WCHA
2003-2004: 10-6-1 (.618), 2.42 GAA
2004-2005: 21-4-1 (.827), 2.24 GAA, 1st Team All-American, 1st Team All-WCHA
Career: 62-16-8 (.767), 2.32 GAA
Curtis McElhinney was a stalwart between the pipes for the Colorado College Tigers in the middle of the decade. A two-time All-American, McEhinney helped lead CC to their first MacNaughton Cup since 1996 in 2002-2003. He repeated that feat in 2005, and also helped Colorado College advance all the way to the Frozen Four. As a result, McElhinney finds himself as an All-Decade Second Teamer.
Defense: Jordan Leopold (Minnesota: 1998-2002)
1998-1999: 7-16-23 - 3rd Team All-WCHA, All-WCHA Rookie Team
2000-2001: 12-37-49 - Hobey Baker Award Finalist, 1st Team All-American, All-WCHA
2001-2002: 20-28-48 - Hobey Baker Award Winner, 1st Team All-American, All-WCHA
Jordan Leopold was the epitome of Golden Gopher hockey at the beginning of the decade. The Golden Valley native was an offensive force from the blueline, but also was the leader of the Gopher defense. By the 2001-2002 season, Leopold had shown great ability, but it was his senior year that he cemented his legendary status by winning the Hobey and leading the Gophers to the NCAA title.
Defense: John-Michael Liles (Michigan State: 1999-2003)
2000-2001: 7-18-25 - 2nd Team All-CCHA
2001-2002: 13-22-35 - 2nd Team All-American, 1st Team All-CCHA
2002-2003: 16-34-50 - Hobey Baker Award Finalist, 1st Team All-American, 1st Team All-CCHA
John-Michael Liles also finds himself on the All-Decade Second Team. Helping the Spartans to the Frozen Four in 2001 along with a CCHA Regular Season and Tournament title that year, Liles finally made the All-CCHA squad as a sophomore. He only got better from there, making the All-America list his Junior and Senior seasons, and he was also a Hobey Baker Award Finalist his Senior year.
Forward: Brett Sterling (Colorado College: 2002-2006)
2002-2003: 27-11-38 - All-WCHA Rookie Team
2004-2005: 34-29-63 - Hobey Baker Award Finalist, 1st Team All-American, 1st Team All-WCHA
2005-2006: 31-24-55 - Hobey Baker Award Finalist, 1st Team All-American, 1st Team All-WCHA
Brett Sterling burst onto the scene as a Freshman, scoring 27 goals for the MacNaughton Cup winning CC Tigers. A mediocre sophomore campaign was followed up with two outstanding seasons. In 2004-2005 Sterling was arguably the best player in college hockey, scoring 34 goals to lead the nation. A great senior year capped off an outstanding career for the All-Decade 2nd Teamer.
Forward: Kevin Porter (Michigan: 2004-2008)
2006-2007: 24-34-58 - 2nd Team All-CCHA
2007-2008: 33-30-63 - Hobey Baker Award Winner, 1st Team All-American, 1st Team All-CCHA
All-Decade 2nd Teamer Kevin Porter consistently improved his game throughout his career, and by his senior season, was the best player in college hockey. It was that same year that Porter captured the Hobey Baker, was a 1st Team All-American, led Michigan to the CCHA Regular Seaston and Tournament Titles, and brought the Wolverines back to the Frozen Four.
Forward: Peter Sejna (Colorado College: 2000-2003)
2000-2001: 29-29-58 - 3rd Team All-WCHA, All-WCHA Rookie Team
2001-2002: 26-24-50 - 3rd Team All-WCHA
2002-2003: 36-46-82 - Hobey Baker Award Winner, 1st Team All-American, 1st Team All-WCHA
The first Slovakian to ever win the Hobey Baker Award, Peter Sejna was able to be an effective scorer from his first season at Colorado College. The forward was quick, yet powerful enough to muscle his way to scoring areas in the WCHA. Sejna led the nation in scoring his Junior year with 36 goals, and also led the Tigers to the MacNaughton Cup. Unfortunately for Sejna, they lost in the Regional Final to Michigan that year. However, Sejna still had a great career, and is an All-Decade Second Teamer.
2000s All-Decade Honorable Mention
Goalie: Yann Danis (Brown: 2000-2004)
Career: 43-43-12, 2.20 GAA - 2004 1st Team All-American, All-ECAC, 2002 2nd Team All-American, 2002 & 2003 All-ECAC
Defense: Brian Yandle (New Hampshire: 2002-2006)
Career: 31-68-99 - 2005 & 2006 2nd Team All-American, 2005 & 2006 2nd Team All-Hockey East
Defense: Reid Cashman (Quinnipiac: 2003-2007)
Career: 23-125-148 - 2007 1st Team All-American, All-ECAC, 2006 2nd Team All-American, 1st Team All-ECAC
Forward: Marty Sertich (Colorado College: 2002-2006)
Career: 61-121-182 - 2005 Hobey Baker Winner, 2005 1st Team All-American, All-WCHA, 2006 2nd Team All-WCHA
Forward: Ryan Duncan (North Dakota: 2005-2009)
Career: 85-87-172 - 2007 Hobey Baker Winner, 2007 1st Team All-American, All-WCHA, 2008 & 2009 2nd Team All-WCHA
Forward: Johnny Pohl (Minnesota 1999-2002)
Career: 64-119-183 - 2002 1st Team All-American, 2000 2nd Team All-WCHA, 2002 1st Team All-WCHA