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|
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER (1960-92)
|Year||Name, Position, Team|
|1960-61||Jerry Walker, F, Denver|
|1961-62||Red Berenson, F, Michigan|
|1962-63||Lou Nanne, D, Minnesota|
|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.