March 9, 1999
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Notre Dame freshman center David Inman (Toronto, Ont.) has been
named to the 1998-99 Central Collegiate Hockey Association All-Rookie Team,
in addition to earning CCHA Rookie of the Week Honors after playing a
major role in last weekend's series at Miami University.
Inman was one of four forwards named to the seven-player rookie
team, due to a tie in the voting, marking just the second time that the
CCHA All-Rookie Team has consisted of seven players. The other
seven-player rookie team came in 1993-94, when three defensemen (Andy Roach
of Ferris State and Harold Schock and Blake Sloan of Michigan) were chosen.
Notre Dame has produced an all-rookie team selection in each of the
past three seasons and four times overall since rejoining the CCHA in
1992-93. Previous Irish players named to the CCHA all-rookie team include
center Jamie Ling ('92-'93), right wing Joe Dusbabek (runner-up for '96-'97
CCHA rookie of the year) and defenseman Mark Eaton (the '97-'98 CCHA rookie
of the year).
Michigan goaltender Josh Blackburn is the only 1998-99 all-rookie
team selection who has been drafted by an NHL team (Phoenix, 1998, 5th
round, 116 overall). Five members of the all-rookie team, including Inman,
are listed by the NHL's Central Scouting department as top prospects for
the 1999 NHL Draft.
Just four teams placed players on the all-rookie team, led by two
from regular-season champion Michigan State-forward Adam Hall and
defenseman Jason Crain-and three from runner-up Michigan (Blackburn, center
Mike Comrie and defenseman Jeff Jillson). A player from Notre Dame's
upcoming opponent-Northern Michigan forward Chad Theuer-rounds out the
all-rookie squad. Jillson and Blackburn were the only unanimous selections
in the voting.
Blackburn is the only all-rookie selection who has been drafted by
an NHL team (Phoenix, 1998, 5th round, 116th overall). Five others -
Comrie, Inman, Hall, Jillson and Crain - are listed by the NHL's Central
Scouting as top prospects for the 1999 NHL Draft.
Selections were based on league statistics and coaches could not
vote for their own players. The rookie team will be honored at the 1999
CCHA Awards Banquet on March 18, at The Second City in Detroit.
Inman finished fourth among CCHA freshmen in league (8G-8A) and
overall (10-10) scoring. The second-line Irish center for most of the
season, Inman finished the regular season with four power-play goals and
two game winners. He closed out the season with three goals and two assists
in the final five games. His season statistics included 99 shots on goal
(for a .101 shooting pct.), 28 penalties, a team-high 72 penalty minutes
and a +2 plus-minus rating.
Inman also was named CCHA rookie of the week after totaling three
points in the weekend series at Miami. Inman scored the first goal (on the
power play) to spark Notre Dame's late comeback in Friday's 3-2 overtime
loss to the RedHawks. He then scored a second-period, power-play goal that
held up as the game-winner on Saturday (4-2) before assisting on a Matt Van
Arkel goal that gave the Irish a 4-0 lead.
Notre Dame players earned seven weekly awards during the 1998-99
regular season (third-most behind MSU's nine and Michigan's eight) while
the Irish joined Bowling Green and MSU as the only teams that produced six
different CCHA award winners.
Notre Dame and Bowling Green were the only CCHA teams that produced
two different winners for each of the three weekly awards (offensive
player, defensive player and rookie). The other Irish award winners
included senior goaltender Forrest Karr (Oct. 11, Jan. 10), senior right
wing Brian Urick (Oct. 11), junior center Ben Simon (Nov. 15), freshman
center Brett Henning (Jan. 17) and senior defenseman Benoit Cotnoir (Feb.
Comrie (Edmonton, Alb.) led CCHA freshmen in goals, assists and
points in both overall (17-22) and league (13-20) games while finishing
sixth among all players in league scoring and seventh overall. He finished
with a team-best +18 overall plus/minus rating. ... Hall (Kalamazoo, Mich.)
led CCHA freshmen with four game-winning goals and was second among
freshmen in league goals with 10. He led all MSU freshmen in overall
(10-5-15) and league (10-4-14) scoring. ... Theuer (Clarkston, Mich.) led
all NMU freshmen in overall (8-17) and league (6-13) scoring, placing him
second among CCHA freshmen overall games and third in league games. He
finished second on the team with 14 power-play points (3-11) and led NMU
with 10 points (3-7) during a midseason eight-game unbeaten streak.
Jillson (North Smithfield, R.I.) ranked first in league (5-15) and
overall (5-16) scoring among freshmen defenseman. He was second among
Michigan blueliners in league and overall scoring and second on the team in
overall plus/minus with a +17. Among his five goals were two power-play
tallies and two game winners. He closed out the regular season on a
five-game scoring streak (2-5-7). ... Crain (Natrona Heights, Penn.) led
OSU freshmen in overall (2-13) and league (2-9) scoring while ranking third
on the team with a +8 rating in league games. He ranked fourth among CCHA
freshmen defensemen in scoring and helped OSU's power play rank third in
the CCHA overall, scoring seven of his points (1-6) with a man advantage.
OSU was 11-2-1 when Crain registered a plus rating. ... Blackburn (Choctaw,
Okla.) finished second in the league and fourth overall with a 2.29
goals-against average. He played 93 percent of Michigan's minutes, posting
a 17-8-5 conference record and a 20-9-6 overall mark. Blackburn registered
three shutouts and held opponents to a single goal in seven league games
and nine overall.
Players earning honorable mention all-rookie honors from the CCHA
included: Greg Day (F, Bowling Green), Sean Connolly (D, NMU), Ryan Crane
(D, Western Michigan), Andrew Hutchinson (D, MSU), Grady Moore (D, BG),
Scott Titus (D, OSU) and Jeff Reynaert (G, WMU).