Notre Dame freshman center T.J. Tynan was named the College Hockey News’ Rookies of the Year on Tuesday. Tynan edged out his teammate Anders Lee and two other finalists to capture the honor.
While the College Hockey News award likely will pale in comparison to a couple of victories at the Frozen Four next, it is certainly nice for Tynan to have some hardware in the back after a very deserving freshman campaign. The Orland Park, Ill. native leads the Irish in points this season with 51 and was second only to Lee in goals scored with 22. Lee currently has 24 goal including two — one of which was an overtime game winner — last weekend in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
Tynan, who is undrafted for now, joined the Notre Dame team a year earlier than expected and has provided the team with an offensive spark since Day One. He played for the USHL’s Des Moines Bucaneers for a year before coming to South Bend.
The College Hockey News is one of the leading (and only) authorities on college hockey and is home to some of the more respected college hockey journalists. They have been naming rookies of the year for well over a decade, but Tynan is the first player from Notre Dame to earn the honor. Between him, Lee and the 10 other freshman on Notre Dame’s current roster it looks like the future of Irish hockey is bright.
In the much more immediate future, Notre Dame will take on Minnesota-Duluth in the Frozen Four semifinals at 5 p.m. on April 7. The game, being held in St. Paul, Minn., will be the third time in a row that the Irish will face a hostile crowd despite the so-called “neutral sites” of the NCAA Tournament. This is the second time in the past four years that Notre Dame has advanced to the Frozen Four. The Irish lost to Boston College in the championship game in 2008.