WCHA Press Releases

Minnesota State's Dryden McKay Named 2020-21 WCHA Player Of The Year
Junior is the 10th goaltender to earn the WCHA's top player honor

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – March 12, 2021 – For the third time in the last four seasons, the top player in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association hails from Minnesota State as Maverick junior goaltender Dryden McKay has been honored as the 2020-21 WCHA Player of the Year.

McKay, who earlier this week was named first team All-WCHA and the WCHA Goaltender of the Year, was chosen for the top overall league honor by WCHA head coaches from among a group of final candidates that also included two of McKay's MSU teammates – Julian Napravnik (WCHA Offensive Player of the Year) and Akito Hirose (WCHA Rookie of the Year) – along with Bowling Green's Will Cullen and Bemidji State's Elias Rosén (WCHA co-Defensive Players of the Year).

"I want to congratulate Minnesota State student-athlete Dryden McKay on a stellar 2020-21 season and salute him on his selection as our WCHA Player of the Year," WCHA President and Men's Commissioner Bill Robertson said. "All of our final candidates had outstanding seasons, but Dryden's continued excellence between the pipes for one of the top teams in the country makes him a truly deserving winner."

McKay joins former Minnesota State forwards Marc Michaelis (2019-20) and C.J. Suess, (2017-18), as the third Maverick skater to be recognized as the league's top overall player.

The Downers Grove, Ill., native is also just the 10th goaltender to win WCHA MVP or Player of the Year accolades, joining Minnesota's Murray McLachlan (1968-69, 1969-70), Denver's Ron Grahame (1972-73), Minnesota Duluth's Bob Mason (1982-83), Minnesota's Robb Stauber (1987-88), Wisconsin's Curtis Joseph (1988-89), Wisconsin's Duane Derksen (1991-92), Colorado College's Richard Bachman (2007-08), Denver's Marc Cheverie (2009-10) and Bemidji State's Michael Bitzer (2016-17)

McKay received his his second-straight Goaltender of the Year Award on Wednesday and captured third consecutive WCHA Goaltending Championship this season with a WCHA-record 1.07 goals-against average in league play.

The record marks the third time in as many seasons that McKay has lowered the WCHA GAA record in league games. He joins NHL star and Michigan Tech three-time All-American Tony Esposito (1964-65, 1965-66, 1966-67) as just the second netminder to win three-straight WCHA goaltending crowns.

The Hobey Baker and Mike Richter candidate enters the postseason with an equally impressive 1.32 GAA in all games that leads the NCAA. He also leads the country in shutouts (eight) and winning percentage (.895/17-2-0).

McKay recorded his 22nd career shutout on Feb. 12 to establish a new WCHA record and move into second place on the NCAA career list, trailing only the 26 blankings recorded by Michigan State's Ryan Miller from 1999-2002.

McKay's eight shutouts in 19 contests this season are within two of equaling his WCHA single season record of 10 set last season in 37 appearances.

WCHA Most Valuable Player/Player of the Year Winners
PLAYER OF THE YEAR (1993-Present)
Year Name, Position, Team
1992-93 Derek Plante, F, Minnesota Duluth
1993-94 Chris Marinucci, F, Minnesota Duluth
1994-95 Brian Bonin, F, Minnesota
1995-96 Brian Bonin, F, Minnesota
1996-97 Mike Crowley, D, Minnesota
1997-98 Curtis Murphy, D, North Dakota
1998-99 Jason Blake, F, North Dakota
1999-00 Steve Reinprecht, F, Wisconsin
2000-01 Jeff Panzer, F, North Dakota
2001-02 Mark Hartigan, F, St. Cloud State
2002-03 Peter Sejna, F, Colorado College
2003-04 Junior Lessard, F, Minnesota Duluth
2004-05 Marty Sertich, F, Colorado College
2005-06 Matt Carle, D, Denver
2006-07 Ryan Duncan, F, North Dakota
2007-08 Richard Bachman, G, Colorado College
2008-09 Jamie McBain, D, Wisconsin
2009-10 Marc Cheverie, G, Denver
2010-11 Matt Frattin, F, North Dakota
2011-12 Jack Connolly, F, Minnesota Duluth
2012-13 Drew LeBlanc, F, St. Cloud State
2013-14 Cody Kunyk, F, Alaska
2014-15 Tanner Kero, F, Michigan Tech
2015-16 Alex Petan, F, Michigan Tech
2016-17 Michael Bitzer, G, Bemidji State
2017-18 C.J. Suess, F, Minnesota State
2018-19 Troy Loggins, F, Northern Michigan
2019-20 Marc Michaelis, F, Minnesota State
2020-21 Dryden McKay, G, Minnesota State

Year Name, Position, Team
1959‑60 (none selected)
1960-61 Jerry Walker, F, Denver
1961-62 Red Berenson, F, Michigan
1962-63 Lou Nanne, D, Minnesota
1963-64 (none selected)
1964-65 Gerry Kell, F, North Dakota
1965-66 Mel Wakabayashi, F, Michigan
1966-67 Keith 'Huffer' Christiansen, F, Minnesota Duluth
1967-68 Keith Magnuson, D, Denver
1968-69 Murray McLachlan, G, Minnesota
1969-70 Murray McLachlan, G, Minnesota
1970-71 Rob Murray, D, Michigan Tech
1971-72 Doug Palazzari, F, Colorado College
1972-73 Ron Grahame, G, Denver
1973-74 Doug Palazzari, F, Colorado College
1974-75 Mike Polich, F, Minnesota (co)
  Tom Ross, F, Michigan State (co)
1975-76 Mike Zuke, F, Michigan Tech
1976-77 Brian Walsh, F, Notre Dame
1977-78 Mike Eaves, F, Wisconsin
1978-79 Mark Johnson, F, Wisconsin
1979-80 Tim Harrer, F, Minnesota
1980-81 Steve Ulseth, F, Minnesota
1981-82 Phil Sykes, F, North Dakota
1982-83 Bob Mason, G, Minnesota Duluth
1983-84 Tom Kurvers, D, Minnesota Duluth
1984-85 Bill Watson, F, Minnesota Duluth
1985-86 Dallas Gaume, F, Denver
1986-87 Tony Hrkac, F, North Dakota
1987-88 Robb Stauber, G, Minnesota
1988-89 Curtis Joseph, G, Wisconsin
1989-90 Gary Shuchuk, F, Wisconsin
1990-91 Scott Beattie, F, Northern Michigan
1991-92 Duane Derksen, G, Wisconsin

About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Men's League

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association, among the most historic, tradition-rich and successful conferences in all of collegiate athletics, is marking its 69th season of men's competition in 2020-21. The 10-team NCAA Division I conference consists of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Chargers), the University of Alaska Anchorage (Seawolves), the University of Alaska (Nanooks), Bemidji State University (Beavers), Bowling Green State University (Falcons), Ferris State University (Bulldogs), Lake Superior State University (Lakers), Michigan Technological University (Huskies), Minnesota State University (Mavericks) and Northern Michigan University (Wildcats). For more information, visit wcha.com.