Big Ten: Midseason AwardsPosted by: Jashvina Shah
The teams skated into the midseason break with Penn State on top of the conference. Big Ten play has been minimal so far, but the Nittany Lions are 3-1-0 in their four games. The Gophers are 1-0-1, which puts them tied for third – despite having the conference’s best overall record.
A few teams have still been inconsistent, although things are looking better for Michigan.
And at the bottom of the conference is Wisconsin. It just keeps getting worse for the Badgers, who lost one of their few healthy defenseman a couple of weeks ago.
The teams are off for the midseason break, so here are some midseason awards:
Best rookie: Dylan Larkin
Larkin not only leads all Big Ten freshmen with 16 points, but he looks nothing like a freshman. He puts in the extra time to work on his skills, and brings a 200-foot game to the Wolverines. This could also be his teammate Zach Werenski. There are some impressive freshmen in the Big Ten this year, including Michigan State’s Josh Jacobs.
MVP: Taylor Holstrom
It’s a combination of MVP and most improved. The fifth-year senior really put in the work this offseason, and it’s showing on the ice. Holstrom leads the Big Ten with 1.50 points per game. Despite missing three games, his 18 points are tied for first in the conference with his linemate Casey Bailey. Holstrom As Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky said a few weeks ago, it’s Holstrom’s defensive play that’s made him so noticeable on the scoresheet.
Best puck possession: Michigan
Based on the midseason Corsi stats I calculated, the Wolverines have a Big Ten-best Corsi of 57.64 percent. The Nittany Lions take an average of 39.60 shots on goal, best in the country. They have a Corsi on 54.57 percent through the first half.
Best Twitter handle: Curtis Loik (@Loiknessmonster)
He’s also my reigning Big Ten Twitter MVP. My Big Ten Twitter watch list is: @JongShow, @scrambled_EBBS, @RalphCoxUNH, @angryelf28, @DaveChompson, @LehrBear, @JamSardine4.