BOSTON — Boston University freshman forward Jack Eichel has been named the recipient of the 2015 Tim Taylor Award, bestowed annually upon the best first-year player in NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey, the Hockey Commissioners’ Association announced Friday. The award, voted on by the nation’s assistant coaches, was given out at Matthews Arena in Boston in conjunction with the Frozen Four weekend.
Eichel was selected as the ninth recipient of the Tim Taylor Award by a vote of the Division I men’s assistant coaches. First awarded in 2007, this marks the second time that the accolade has been bestowed in the name of Tim Taylor, the legendary Yale and USA Hockey coach after he passed away on April 27, 2013.
“Jack has done everything he was asked to do and he has done it in a very humble way,” said Boston University head coach David Quinn. “It is remarkable not only what he has accomplished as an 18-year-old player but the manner in which he has handled everything that has happened this year.”
Eichel leads the NCAA in nearly every offensive category, pacing the nation in assists (43), points (67), assists per game (1.13), points per game (1.76), power-play points (22) and plus-minus (plus-49) in 38 games played. He was named both Hockey East Rookie of the Year and Hockey East Player of the Year on March 19. It marked the first time both awards have gone to the same player since the 1992-93 season when Maine’s Paul Kariya took home the honors and just the third time one skater has won the top accolades in league history (Brian Leetch/Boston College/1986-87). Eichel was also unanimously named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team and the Hockey East First Team All-Star squad.
Eichel led Hockey East in scoring in his freshman campaign, turning in 14 goals and 30 assists for 44 points in 22 Hockey East games. In March, Eichel was the leading scorer in the Hockey East Tournament, notching four goals and six assists for 11 points and finishing a plus-10 in four games played. For his efforts in helping Boston University capture the eighth Hockey East Tournament title in school history, Eichel was named to the All-Tournament Team and Tournament MVP.
Taylor, for whom the award is named, spent 28 seasons at Yale and became the school’s winningest head coach as he collected 337 victories. His tenure spanned from 1976-2006, while taking two years on leave to coach the U.S. Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team as an assistant coach in 1984 and as the head coach in 1994. Taylor was captain of the Harvard men’s ice hockey team before he graduated in 1963. He began his coaching career at his alma mater, serving as an assistant coach on the Crimson staff under Ralph “Cooney” Weiland and Bill Cleary before beginning his time with the Bulldogs in New Haven, Connecticut.
The Hockey Commissioners Association sponsors this award which results from a ballot containing each NCAA Division I ice hockey conference’s rookie of the year.