Boston University freshman forward Clayton Keller (Swansea, Illinois) has been named the recipient of the 2017 Tim Taylor Award, bestowed annually upon the best first-year player in NCAA Division I men's ice hockey, the Hockey Commissioners' Association announced today. The award is voted on by the nation's assistant coaches and is named for the former Yale Universitry and U.S. Olympic Team head coach.
Keller, despite missing eight games during the regular season, lead all Hockey East rookies in several offensive categories, including goals (21), assists (24), points (45), goals per game (0.68), assists per game (0.77), points per game (1.45), shorthanded goals (4), shots on goal (138), and shots on goal per game (4.45). He made his NHL debut for the Arizona Coyotes this past Monday night.
Keller's 21 goals, 0.68 goals per game, 1.45 points per game, four shorthanded goals, 138 shots on goal and 4.45 shots per game also lead all first-year players in the NCAA. In regular season Hockey East play, Keller finished sixth in total scoring with 27 points in just 18 games played, but still led all skaters in shots on goal per game, firing five pucks on net per contest. Among his classmates in Hockey East, Keller led nearly every offensive category with 12 goals, 15 assists, 27 points, 0.67 goals per game, 0.83 assists per game, 1.50 points per game, two shorthanded goals, a plus-11 rating, and 90 shots on goal.
He led his Terriers team in scoring while helping them earn a share of the Hockey East regular season title and was named Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Month in each of the last three months of the season. Keller was also honored as the HCA National Rookie of the Month in January, as he was in the midst of a 15-game point streak, and finished the year with at least one point in 28 of his 31 games played.
The runners-up for the 2017 National Rookie of the Year Award were Denver forward Henrik Borgstrom and Harvard defenseman Adam Fox, both of whom led their teams into the 2017 NCAA "Frozen Four" in Chicago.
Tim 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 University 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.
Recipients of the Tim Taylor
National Rookie of the Year Award
2007 - Andreas Nodl, F, St. Cloud State University
2008 - Richard Bachman, G, Colorado College
2009 - Kieran Millan, G, Boston University
2010 - Stephane DaCosta, F, Merrimack College
2011 - T.J. Tynan, F, Notre Dame University
2012 - Joey LaLeggia, D, University of Denver
2013 - Jon Gillies, G, Providence College
2014 - Sam Anas, F, Quinnipiac University
2015 - Jack Eichel, F, Boston University
2016 - Kyle Connor, F, University of Michigan
2017 - Clayton Keller, F, Boston University