For the second consecutive year, Middlebury College men's hockey player Kevin Cooper (Mississauga, Ont.) has been named the NESCAC Player of the Year. Cooper, along with teammate Mike Velez (S. Windsor, Conn.) were also both named to the All-NESCAC first-team.
Cooper has enjoyed another tremendous season for Middlebury, leading the team and the NESCAC in goals (27) and points (44) this season. This marks the third straight season Cooper was a first-team All-NESCAC selection, while earning All-American status for the past two seasons. Earlier this season, he became the school's all-time modern day goal scoring leader. He now has 91 goals and 55 assists for 146 points over his 109-game career.
Velez has helped anchor the nation's top defense throughout the season. The Panthers allow just 1.68 goals/game, .78 goals ahead of its next competitor. The senior has also been instrumental in Middlebury penalty kill, which leads the conference with a 90 percent effectiveness. He has one goal and 14 assists over 25 games this season, while scoring two goals and assisting on 44 others in his 103-game career.