COLUMBUS, Ohio – Last week, the Ohio State men’s hockey program revealed the 2021-22 team award winners, as voted by the players.
Jakub Dobeš was selected Team MVP, the third year in a row a goalie won the award. The Big Ten Goaltender and co-Freshman of the Year, he ranked in the Top 7 in the NCAA in save percentage, saves and wins in 2021-22. His .934 save percentage is second is school history and his 21 wins rank fifth (tied) all-time, while his 1,086 saves are the second-most in a single season for a Buckeye. A First Team All-Big Ten selection, Dobeš played in 35 of 37 games, starting 34. He was a four-time Big Ten Star of the Week, the national rookie of the month in October and the co-national goaltender of the month in January.
Georgii Merkulov was selected the team’s Rookie of the Year and won the team’s Leading Scorer Award. He led NCAA freshmen in goals with 20 and was first nationally with seven gamewinning tallies, ranking ninth overall in goals per game. Merkulov, a First Team All-Big Ten honoree, had a team-best 34 points and skated in 36 of 37 games. His 20 goals were the most for a Buckeye freshman since Brian Loney had 21 in 1991-92 and it was the 11th 20-goal season for a Buckeye skater since 1999-00, with his goals-per-game average ranking fourth in that span. He was the runner-up for national player of the month in December and earned Big Ten Star of the Week accolades in November.
The Best Defensive Player award winner was freshman Mason Lohrei. An Honorable Mention All-Big Ten choice, he had 25 assists and 29 points, ranking in the Top 8 in the NCAA in assists per game overall and points per game among defensemen while playing in 31 games. His 25 assists rank 10th in Ohio State history for a single season by a defenseman and are tied for eighth by a Buckeye freshman skater, while his .81 assists per game are tied for the second-best by a Buckeye since 2000. It is the most assists by a Buckeye defenseman since Doug Andress had 27 in 2004. A two-time Big Ten Star of the Week, Lohrei was +16 on the year and blocked 41 shots.
Cam Thiesing was voted the Unsung Player award winner. A freshman forward, he was fourth on the team in scoring with 25 points, with eight goals (including two gamewinners) and 17 assists. He led the team with a +21 mark and had a Buckeye-best 120 shots on goal.
The Most Improved Player award winner was Joe Dunlap. The sophomore had seven goals and 13 assists while skating in 32 games in 2021-22 after scoring once in 17 games as a freshman.
Dominic Vidoli was the Scholar-Athlete award winner. A neuroscience major, he is an Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Krampade AHCA All-American Scholar and an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete. The junior skated in 19 games in 2021-22 and had six points, with two goals (both gamewinners) and four assists, along with a +6 rating and 23 shot blocks. The Scholar-Athlete Award was selected by the team staff.
Rookie 𝙅𝙖𝙠𝙪𝙗 𝘿𝙤𝙗𝙚𝙨 was voted 2021-22 Team MVP by the Buckeyes.
The B1G Goalie and co-Freshman of the Year and All-B1G First Team choice, a @CanadiensMTL draft pick, was Top 7 in the NCAA in save percentage, saves and wins.#GoBucks @Lil_Doby44 pic.twitter.com/3xXNEbyG0U
— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) May 28, 2022
𝗚𝗲𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗶𝗶 𝗠𝗲𝗿𝗸𝘂𝗹𝗼𝘃 is the Buckeyes' 2021-22 Rookie of the Year!
The First Team All-B1G pick led NCAA freshmen in goals (20). He was 1st in the NCAA with 7 gamewinners and 9th in goals per game.
— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) May 27, 2022
𝙈𝙖𝙨𝙤𝙣 𝙇𝙤𝙝𝙧𝙚𝙞 is the Buckeyes' 2021-22 Best Defensive Player!
The H.M. All-B1G choice and @NHLBruins draft pick, who had 25 assists and 29 points, was in the Top 8 in the NCAA in assists per game overall and points per game among defensemen. #GoBucks @Mason_lohrei20 pic.twitter.com/p3y2blTKO1
— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) May 26, 2022
As voted by his teammates, 𝘾𝙖𝙢 𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙚𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜 is the 2021-22 Unsung Player award winner!
— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) May 25, 2022
Congrats to 𝙅𝙤𝙚 𝘿𝙪𝙣𝙡𝙖𝙥, selected by his teammates as the Most Improved Player for 2021-22!
— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) May 24, 2022
A well deserved award for 𝗗𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗰 𝗩𝗶𝗱𝗼𝗹𝗶!
— Ohio State Men's Hockey (@OhioStateMHKY) May 23, 2022