ROSEMONT, Ill. – Senior defenseman Trevor Hamilton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) has been named the 2017-18 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as announced by the league office earlier Tuesday afternoon.
Hamilton was also named a First-Team All-Big Ten selection while junior Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) was given honorable mention recognition.
Hamilton becomes the first Penn State player ever to earn a major conference award and it is just the second major conference award Penn State has received after Guy Gadowsky was named Big Ten Coach of the Year following the 2014-15 season.
Hamilton is also just the third Penn State player to earn All-Big Ten First-Team honors joining Casey Bailey (2014-15) and Vince Pedrie (2016-17). The senior leads the Big Ten and ranks tied for 12th nationally among blue-liners with 29 points on the season having scored six goals with 23 assists.
Hamilton’s 29 points are just one shy of Pedrie’s single-season program record for points by a defenseman of 30 he set last season while his 23 assists are a new single-season Penn State defenseman record.
The senior also leads the entire nation for the second-consecutive season in blocked shots with 104. His two-season total of 211 blocks is a new Penn State career record while the 107 he had during the 2016-17 campaign is a single-season record.
The Grosse Pointe Farms native has 55 points on 12 goals and 43 assists in 76 career games as a Nittany Lion. His point and assist totals rank third all-time among Penn State defensemen while his goals place him fourth.
Sturtz, who became Penn State’s all-time leading goal scorer and just the second Nittany Lion ever to reach 100 career points earlier this season, earns the first postseason accolade of his career with a Big Ten honorable mention selection.
The junior leads the team with his career-high 40 points to rank tied for fifth in the Big Ten and 28th nationally. Sturtz is just the third Nittany Lion ever to register at least 40 points in a single-season joining Bailey and sophomore Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) who set the Penn State single-season record with 47 points last season.
Sturtz is also tied for second nationally with three shorthanded goals to lead the Big Ten as he became the first player this season to register three shorthanded scores. Sturtz’s plus-14 rating leads the team and ranks tied for sixth in the Big Ten. Hamilton is second on the team and tenth in the conference at plus-13.
The junior’s 26 assists this season are also a career-high and are just two shy of Smirnov’s single-season record of 28 set last season.
Senior Erik Autio (Espoo, Finland) was named the team’s sportsmanship award honoree.
Penn State is currently waiting on a possible at-large bid to its second-consecutive NCAA Tournament where as the host school they would participate at the Midwest Regional in Allentown, Pa. on March 24-25. The entire 16-team NCAA Tournament field will be announced during the selection show live on ESPNU on Sunday, March 18 at 12 p.m.