Nate Schmidt won the Golden Goldy for Male Breakthrough Athlete of the Year at tonight's student-athlete gala.
The University of Minnesota athletics department held its sixth-annual Golden Goldys tonight at TCF Bank Stadium. The student-athlete awards gala is similar to ESPN's ESPYS and honors student athletes for their achievements during the year.
The Minnesota men's hockey team had one award winner this evening as sophomore defenseman Nate Schmidt took home the Golden Goldy for Male Breakthrough Athlete of the Year. Schmidt recorded 41 points (3g-38a) in 43 games this year after tallying only one assist in 13 games as a freshman.
Schmidt led all defensemen nationally in assists and was third among all players. His 38 assists place him sixth all-time in school history for assists by a defenseman in a single season. He led the Gophers in power-play points and blocked shots.
"It is an awesome award and I feel very honored to win it because the other four nominees are extremely talented athletes," said Schmidt. "My season was a direct result of my coaches and teammates and the hard work everyone put in for a great season."
Schmidt beat our Marqueis Gray (football), Andrew Larsen (cross country), Erik Van Rooyen (golf) and Rodney Williams (basketball) for the award.
The other members of the men's hockey program who were nominated for awards were Kent Patterson (Male Athlete of the Year), Kyle Rau (Male Rookie of the Year) and Don Lucia (Best Men's Coach). The men's hockey team was also nominated for Best Male Team. A complete list of winners can be found here.