On Monday, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) made the announcement three-year Wild alum and former captain Lucas Sowder had been declared Rookie of the Year. Sowder just completed his freshman year at Minnesota State – Mankato where the Mavericks were ranked second in the nation at the time of the shutdown. The team was also crowned winners of the McNaughton Cup as WCHA Regular Season Champions.
Sowder made a big splash at the NCAA level, averaging a point per game and being named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team. He was acknowledged as WCHA Rookie of the Week an impressive four times this season. He closed out with 6 goals and 25 assists for 31 points in 31 games.
Sowder becomes the second consecutive Wild alum to earn the WCHA Rookie of the Year Award, with Cooper Zech earning the distinction in the 2018-19 season. Zech played his freshman season with the Ferris State Bulldogs. He led the team in scoring with 8 goals and 20 assists before signing a pro contract with the Providence Bruins of the AHL.
In the 2017-18 season, Sowder and Zech were teammates on the Wenatchee Wild team that won the Fred Page Cup and the Doyle Cup. Zech was named team co-MVP and Top Defenseman and led all BCHL defensemen in scoring. Sowder won MVP and Top Forward the following season.
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