COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey first-year defenseman Case Kantgias (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Northern Colorado Eagles) was named Northeast-10 Conference Rookie of the Year on Wednesday, as chosen by the league's head coaches. Fifth-year senior defender Sel Narby (Huntington, N.Y./Connecticut Junior Rangers) earned the third NE10 All-Conference first team selection of his career.
Kantgias becomes the fifth Purple Knight to ever claim league Rookie of the Year accolades, joining a select list that features Saint Michael's Athletic Hall of Famers John Gurskis '98 and Michel Dupont '98, who were lauded by the old Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Central, in 1994-95 and 1995-96, respectively. Chris Yurco '01 also landed ECAC Central Rookie of the Year in 1997-98, while Danny Divis '17 was ECAC East Co-Rookie of the Year and NE10 Rookie of the Year for the 2013-14 season. Kantgias joins Divis as the lone Purple Knights to claim NE10 Rookie of the Year since the league began sponsoring the sport more than 20 years ago.
Kantgias was also among six student-athletes named to the NE10 All-Rookie Team, giving Saint Michael's at least one honoree for the 11th time in 13 seasons. The lone underclassman in the conference's top 10 in goals, Kantgias scored 11 times in 19 games to become the first NE10 player to ever lead both first-years and defensemen in goals. He leads all NCAA Division I, II and III defensemen with eight power-play goals while tying for first nationally among first-years. Kantgias' 11 goals are second among NCAA Division I, II and III first-year blue liners to only University of Michigan's Luke Hughes (16), and fifth across all defensemen, regardless of class year.
Kantgias added seven assists while blocking 14 shots this winter. He notched at least one point in 12 of 19 contests, including nine of the last 10 games, when he totaled eight goals and seven assists while going plus-4.
Narby has joined Divis, Gurskis and Matt Rigtrup '11 as the lone three-time all-conference first team selections in program annals, with Divis and Rigtrup also defensemen. Narby earned the laurels each of his final three seasons, in 2018-19 and 2019-20 before returning for a fifth season in 2021-22. He was among 12 all-conference honorees around the NE10, with six apiece placed on two teams, including four defenders.
With the conference semifinals and championship game remaining, Narby leads all NE10 defensemen in assists (17) and points (24) while standing second in goals (7) to Kantgias. After totaling a league-best 28 points in 2019-20, landing NE10 Defensive Player of the Year honors, Narby has a chance to lead NE10 blue liners in scoring in back-to-back seasons, an achievement last reached by Stonehill College's Brett Smith in 2004-05 and 2005-06. An assistant captain, Narby is a semifinalist for the Joe Concannon Award, recognizing the top men's ice hockey player at an NCAA Division II or III New England institution, for the second time.
In 98 career games, Narby recorded 22 goals, 53 assists and 75 points with 11 power-play goals. Among all NCAA Division I, II and III defensemen who were active this season, Narby is fifth in career assists. He will graduate with the most power-play goals ever by a Purple Knight defender - accumulated entirely during his final two seasons - while standing third in both points and assists by a blue liner to Hall of Famer Kyle Lanfear '98 (87 assists, 119 points) and Rigtrup (63 assists, 81 points).