UND forward Jackson Blake wins NCHC Player of the Year

Mar. 21—ST. PAUL, Minn. — Jackson Blake broke the National Collegiate Hockey Conference record for conference points two weeks ago in Omaha.

He totaled 37 points in just 24 conference games this year.

Blake's record-breaking season earned him the NCHC's Player of the Year and Forward of the Year honor, which was handed out Thursday at the NCHC Awards Banquet in St. Paul Events Center.

"This is just the cherry on top," he said, "for not only me, but the boys as well. Grateful, obviously, for both of them. Couldn't have done it without the boys and the coaching staff. Super humble, super honored."

The sophomore forward is the second UND player to win the conference's top honor, joining Shane Pinto, who won the award in 2020-21. Pinto is now playing with the Ottawa Senators.

"He obviously had a great career here," Blake said. "I definitely looked up to him when I was playing in juniors and coming here. Pretty cool stuff."

Blake, who was announced as a Hobey Baker Award finalist Wednesday, has tallied 31 points in his last 16 games.

Blake has 99 points in his career. With one more, the Eden Prairie, Minn., product will be the first UND player to join the Century Club as a sophomore since Zach Parise in 2003-04.

Blake was a unanimous selection to the NCHC All-Conference First Team after leading the NCHC in points and assists during league play. He recorded a point in all but four league games this season, and had multiple points in 10 conference matchups.

"The team is first and everything," Blake said. "It's great for me, but it's great for our team. I think it just shows that we had a very successful year, with the Penrose, too."

Blake is the NCAA's second-leading scorer with 57 points in 38 overall games, one point behind Boston College's Will Smith. Blake has 20 more points than anyone else on his team.

Blake's 36 assists are fourth nationally. He has 21 goals this year and five game winners to lead UND.

Blake was also a finalist for the Three Stars Award, but it went to Colorado College's Noah Laba.

Denver defenseman Zeev Buium won NCHC Rookie of the Year. UND's Jake Livanavage was a finalist.

Laba won NCHC Defensive Forward of the Year over UND's Cameron Berg.

Colorado College's Kaidan Mbereko won NCHC Goaltender of the Year. UND's Ludvig Persson was a finalist.

Colorado College's Kris Mayotte won the Herb Brooks Coach of the Year honor. UND's Brad Berry was the runnerup.

The Fighting Hawks face Omaha in the Frozen Faceoff at 4 p.m. Friday.

"This is where you got to really take it up to that other level that you didn't realize you have," Blake said. "I think we have so much potential with this group. Obviously, we've shown it in a lot of ways this year. Hopefully we can hit our stride starting this weekend and get that momentum going into playoffs."