Alex Steeves captures three awards from Irish hockey team
SOUTH BEND – Departing junior right wing Alex Steeves captured three honors Friday as the Notre Dame hockey team announced its year-end awards.
Steeves, who signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 28 following Notre Dame’s 14-13-2 campaign that included the team’s fifth NCAA tournament berth, claimed the team’s Monogram Club Most Valuable Player Award.
The Eden Prairie, Minnesota, resident also received the team’s Brian Walsh Offensive Player of the Year honor for leading Jeff Jackson’s Fighting Irish with a team-high 32 points amassed with a team-high 15 goals and 17 assists. The 15 goals were fifth nationally and second in the Big Ten to the 24 scored by Wisconsin’s Cole Caufield. Steeves was a second-team All-Big Ten selection.
Steeves also was the winner of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley’s Rockne Student-Athlete Award. An accounting major in the Mendoza College of Business, Steeves won Academic All-Big Ten honors for the second time as all of Notre Dame’s 21 upperclassmen were honored by the league.
Junior defenseman Spencer Stastney, another second-team All-Big Ten selection, earned the team’s William Nyrop Defensive Player of the Year honor. Stastney, a Mequon, Wisconsin, native, scored a career-high five goals and added seven assists for 12 points in 29 games. His five goals tied teammate Nick Leivermann and Michigan’s Nick Blankenburg for the Big Ten lead.
Freshman left wing Landon Slaggert of South Bend, the son of associate head coach Andy Slaggert, was honored as the team’s rookie of the year after scoring eight goals and 14 assists for 22 points in 25 games. Slaggert missed four games in the first semester while playing for the gold medal-winning Team USA in the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Edmonton, Alberta.
Sophomore right wing Max Ellis was named the team’s most improved player, scoring five goals and adding 11 assists for 16 points in 24 games.
Junior captain Nate Clurman received the Compton Family Leadership in Service Award for helping to organize an alumni fundraiser for the team’s Fight for Life teammate Rudy Chapman. Clurman, who had a career-high four goals and three assists in 27 games, signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Colorado Avalanche April 5.
Senior forward Pierce Crawford, an alternate captain who had a goal and three assists in 27 games, was honored with the Charles “Lefty” Smith Coaches Award for his leadership on and off the ice.
The team also presented an honorary alumni award to Dr. Kevin McAward, the long-time team doctor.