Penguins goaltender Eric Hartzell led Quinnipiac University to an ECAC regular-season title and a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four. After he signed with the Penguins as a taxi-squad player and has joined the club during their Stanley Cup run.
The storybook year for Hartzell, 24, continued Wednesday when he was named the USA Hockey College Player of the Year.
"The news feels great," Hartzell said. "A lot of that reflects how awesome our program was this year and how awesome the guys were. I can't be more honored."
Hartzell’s numbers speak for themselves. He went 30-7-5 with a 1.57 goals-against average, .933 save percentage and five shutouts. He also posted a 21-game unbeaten streak (18-0-3).
And the accolades have followed, including being named a Hobey Baker Award (best college hockey player), USCHO Player of the Year, 2013 ECAC Player of the Year, ECAC Hockey Ken Dryden Goaltender of the Year, a selection to the ECAC First-Team All-Star squad, a spot on the All-New England All-Star team and a selection to the CollegeHockeyNews.com's First-Team.
After the Frozen Four, Hartzell signed a one-year entry-level contract with the Penguins. He’s been with the Penguins through the first two rounds of the playoffs. Hartzell and hopes it lasts until the end of June.
"It's been an amazing ride," he said. "I've learned so much already since I've been here. Hopefully, I'm here for another three, four weeks. To see these guys hold the (Stanley) Cup would be amazing."
Hartzell will be honored during USA Hockey’s 2013 Annual Congress to be held June 5-8 in Colorado Springs, Colo.