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Add another honor for Jordan Kawaguchi: UND's first NCHC forward of the year

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Fighting Hawks forward Jordan Kawaguchi drives the puck down the ice at Ralph Engelstad Arena during Saturday's season-opening home exhibition game against the Manitoba Bisons. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Chalk up another honor for Jordan Kawaguchi.

The UND junior forward was named the National Collegiate Hockey Conference forward of the year this week, making him the first Fighting Hawks player to win the award in the seven-year history of the league.

Kawaguchi, one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, led all NCHC forwards with 45 points in all games and 30 points in league games.

Kawaguchi figured to be a runaway winner for the award. Other finalists included Minnesota Duluth's Noah Cates, Denver's Emilio Pettersen, Miami's Gordie Green, Omaha's Taylor Ward and St. Cloud State's Sam Hentges.

Kawaguchi previously earned first-team all-NCHC honors and was named USCHO's national player of the year.

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The Hobey Baker Award is expected to be narrowed down to three finalists April 2. The winner will be announced April 10.

Kawaguchi is hoping to become UND's third winner of the Hobey. The others have been Tony Hrkac in 1987 and Ryan Duncan in 2007.

NCHC forward of the year winners

2019-20 -- Jordan Kawaguchi, North Dakota

2018-19 -- Patrick Newell, St. Cloud State

2017-18 -- Henrik Borgstrom, Denver

2016-17 -- Anthony Louis, Miami

2015-16 -- Danton Heinen, Denver

2014-15 -- Trevor Moore, Denver

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2013-14 -- Josh Archibald, Omaha

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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