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On Campus: Dugan among favorites for MVP

Golden Knights draft pick at Providence College leads NCAA in scoring

by Mark Divver / Correspondent

The 2019-20 NCAA hockey season is entering the home stretch with teams jockeying for conference seeding and NCAA Tournament positioning. But before the final few weeks of the season determine all of that, let's look at some of the best in the NCAA at each position, who the most valuable college player has been and more:


Most Valuable Player

1. Jordan Kawaguchi, University of North Dakota

Kawaguchi, an undrafted junior forward, is tied for second in the NCAA with 37 points (13 goals, 24 assists) in 25 games. He's scored five game-winning goals, tied with Marc Michaelis (Minnesota State) and Cole Guttman (Denver) for most in the NCAA. He's in a four-way tie for first with 10 game-winning points and leads the NCAA with 21 primary assists.


2. Jack Dugan, Providence College

The sophomore forward leads the NCAA with 42 points (seven goals, 35 assists) and has had a hand in 47.7 percent of Providence College's 88 goals this season. Dugan was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the fifth round (No. 142) of the 2017 NHL Draft.


3. Dryden McKay, Minnesota State University

The sophomore goalie leads the NCAA with 22 wins and seven shutouts for No. 3 Minnesota State.


Top forward

1. Jack Dugan, Providence College

Dugan, a playmaking wing, is a puck-possession monster. He leads the NCAA in scoring and assists per game (1.40) and is the frontrunner for the Hobey Baker Award.


2. Jordan Kawaguchi, University of North Dakota

Kawaguchi, who was at one time committed to Providence College, has been assessed two minor penalties all season.


3. Marc Michaelis, Minnesota State University

The undrafted senior is fourth in scoring with 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists) in 25 games. The Germany-born forward missed the past three games with a leg injury.


Top defensemen

1. Scott Perunovich, University of Minnesota Duluth

It's a treat to watch Perunovich dodge forecheckers and pass the puck out of his zone or carry it up the ice himself. With 28 points (four goals, 24 assists), he is tied for the lead in points among defensemen. Perunovich was picked by the St. Louis Blues in the second round (No. 45) of the 2018 NHL Draft.


2. David Farrance, Boston University

Tied for the NCAA lead in points among defensemen (28), Farrance has scored the most goals (11) of anyone at the position. The sophomore was chosen by the Nashville Predators in the third round (No. 92) of the 2017 NHL Draft.


3. Alec Rauhauser, Bowling Green University

Skating is a concern among some NHL scouts, but the undrafted senior has 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in 26 games.


Top goalies

1. Matthew Galajda, Cornell University

The undrafted junior is putting up brilliant numbers for No. 1 Cornell. He's 14-1-4 with a 1.46 goals-against average and .940 save percentage, tied for second in the NCAA. He has given up more than two goals in one game once this season, a 3-3 tie with Union College on Jan. 11.


2. Dryden McKay, Minnesota State University

With a .940 save percentage, McKay is tied with Galajda for second behind John Lethemon of Michigan State.


3. Jeremy Swaywan, University of Maine

Selected by the Boston Bruins in the fourth round (No. 111) of the 2017 draft, the junior has a .934 save percentage and leads the NCAA with 822 saves. Maine would be lost without him.


Top freshman

1. Cole Caufield, University of Wisconsin

The forward leads all freshmen in goals (16) and points (26). He was the No. 15 pick by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2019 NHL Draft.


2. Spencer Knight, Boston College

The goalie is 14-7 with a 2.04 GAA and .927 save percentage for No. 5 Boston College. He was the No. 13 pick by the Florida Panthers in the 2019 draft.


3. Trevor Zegras, Boston University

The No. 9 pick by the Anaheim Ducks in 2019, the forward has 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) in 22 games. His 1.14 points-per-game average is second to Nick Abruzzese of Harvard University (1.21).


Breakout players

1. Tyce Thompson, Providence College

The sophomore forward scored eight goals as a freshman. This season, he's scored 17 and is tied with Kawaguchi for second in the NCAA with 37 points in 25 games. He was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the fourth round (No. 96) of the 2019 draft.


2. Griffin Loughran, Northern Michigan University

The undrafted sophomore forward has scored an NCAA-high 19 goals with 31 points. Last season, Loughran scored seven goals and had 18 points. 


3. John Lethemon, Michigan State

The senior goalie leads the NCAA with a .943 save percentage and is second with five shutouts. He never had a save percentage higher than .905 in his first three college seasons.


Top coach

1. Mike Schafer, Cornell University

Cornell (14-1-4) won its first 10 games while breaking three freshmen defensemen into the lineup. As usual, Schafer is coaching a big, strong and structured team, but with a touch more speed and skill than in recent seasons.


2. Brad Berry, University of North Dakota

No. 2 in the polls, but first in the Pairwise Rankings, North Dakota looks like a lock to return to the NCAA Tournament after two straight misses.


3. Nate Leaman, Providence College

After Providence College advanced to the 2019 Frozen Four, four juniors left to sign NHL contracts, but Leaman and Co. haven't missed a beat.

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