MADISON – Senior forward Ryan Wagner took home the Spike Carlson/Chris Chelios Most Valuable Player award on Saturday when the Wisconsin men’s hockey team held its annual awards banquet at the Kohl Center.
Open to the public for the first time since the 2007-08 season, the Badgers recognized its eight-member senior class and handed out awards for competitiveness, consistency and improvement, among others.
Wagner, who also took home the award for leading the team in scoring, finished his final UW campaign with a career-high 15 goals and 33 points in 37 games played. The Park Ridge, Illinois, native, wrapped up his career with 36 goals and 88 points while skating in all 143 games the Badgers played. He signed a contract with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves following the Badgers season.
The Badgers’ second double winner was junior defenseman Peter Tischke, who won the Fenton Kelsey, Jr./Mike Richter Most Competitive Award, as well as The Suter Family Unsung Hero hardware. A Hinsdale, Illinois, native, Tischke finished with two goals and 13 points and as All-Big Ten Honorable Mention and UW’s anchor on the blue line.
The Ivan B. Williamson Scholastic Award went to senior forward Matt Ustaski. The two-time Academic All-Big Ten skater as a communication arts major finished off his career with 13 goals and 22 points in 100 games played. He was the winner of last year’s WHA-TV Jim Santulli 7th Man Award. Ustaski signed a contract with the ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen after the season.
Senior defenseman Tim Davison was the winner of the second Jeff Sauer Award, which goes to a ‘great guy’ on the team. Davison, also the team’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner, and the team’s Senior CLASS Award nominee, finished his season with a goal and seven points. Known for his ‘Timmy Takeover’ videos, he completed his career with nine goals and 45 points in 133 games. Davison signed an ECHL deal with the South Carolina Stingrays following the season.
Junior forward Seamus Malone won the Jim Santulli 7th Man Award. The Naperville, Illinois, native, scored 10 goals and 23 points in 36 games played to rank fifth on the Badgers in scoring. The award is named after WHA-TV’s Jim Santulli, who was instrumental in bringing hockey broadcasts to the air on Wisconsin Public Television.
The remaining team awards went to Wisconsin’s talented freshmen class.
The Mark Johnson Rookie of the Year award was shared between defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk and forward Linus Weissbach. Both members of the Big Ten All-Rookie Team, Weissbach will be Wisconsin’s top returning scorer next year after posting 10 goals and 26 points in 34 games played. Kalynuk, named All-Big Ten Honorable Mention, scored three goals and 25 points to put up one of the most productive freshmen season’s in UW history for a defenseman.
Freshman defenseman Josh Ess won the Dr. Joseph Coyne/Joe Pavelski Most Consistent honor. Ess, who missed the final four-plus games of the season due to injury, skated in 33 games and tallied two goals and four points. He shared the team lead with a plus-10 and was part of UW’s top defensive pairing all season before his injury.
Defenseman Tyler Inamoto was voted the team’s Otto Breitenbach/Curtis Joseph Most Improved winner. Inamoto, a Chicago native, finished the season with a goal and four points playing in all 37 games as a rookie, notching his first career goal in the first game of the Big Ten playoffs.
The Mel Ross Distinguished Service Award went to Randy Hollis, who serves as the team’s bus driver via Badger Bus. In the same vain as the award’s namesake, as well as Mel’s wife Sally, Hollis travels the country with the Badgers, driving the team’s equipment and helping with equipment, operations and other various tasks that come along on road trips. He’s been driving the team since the start of the 2011-12 season.
Spike Carlson/Chris Chelios Most Valuable Player – Ryan Wagner
Leading Scorer – Ryan Wagner
Ivan B. Williamson Scholastic Award – Matt Ustaski
Jeff Sauer Award – Tim Davison
Fenton Kelsey, Jr./Mike Richter Most Competitive – Peter Tischke
The Suter Family Unsung Hero – Peter Tischke
Dr. Joseph Coyne/Joe Pavelski Most Consistent – Josh Ess
Mark Johnson Rookie of the Year – Wyatt Kalynuk & Linus Weissbach
Otto Breitenbach/Curtis Joseph Most Improved – Tyler Inamoto
Jim Santulli 7th Man Award – Seamus Malone
Mel Ross Distinguished Service Award – Randy Hollis
–Wisconsin Athletic Communications