Anne Photograp News 2024

Hockey Announces Annual Team Awards

Hockey Announces Annual Team Awards

TEMPE – With the conclusion of the 2023-24 season for Sun Devil Hockey, five players are honored as team award recipients for their contributions and accomplishments this past year, as selected by the players, coaches, and team staff.

The five awards include Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, the Drew Newmeyer Best Teammate, Iron Man, and Practice Hero.


MVP- Matthew Kopperud

Matthew Kopperud scores goal

Alternate captain and senior forward Matthew Kopperud sealed his legacy in the record book this season, holding the No. 1 spot in several categories. Kopperud started his fourth collegiate season red hot as he broke the record for all-time career power play goals by a Sun Devil and finished his career with 41, collecting 17 this season. The mark also tied him at fourth in the NCAA’s all-time career power play goal records. He owns the top spot for career game-winning goals (11), single season game-winning goals (8 in 2023-24), career power play goals (41), single season power play goals (17 in 2023-24) and tied Johnny Walker for most goals in a single season (23 in 2023-24).

Kopperud was the leading goal-scorer on the team with 23 goals this year on his way to collecting 108 all-time career points, just shy of the No.1 spot currently held by Sun Devil alum Johnny Walker (123). The forward also put up 10 multipoint nights including two three-point nights in his final year. Kopperud continues his hockey career with the Bridgeport Islanders of the AHL, the New York Islanders affiliate.

Rookie of the Year – Kyle Smolen

Kyle Smolen
During his freshman year, forward Kyle Smolen logged seven goals and nine assists. He led the team to victory twice with game-winning goals against Clarkson in the Adirondack Winter Invitational and against Omaha in the Desert Hockey Classic championship game. Both wins saw ASU lift tournament trophies for the first time since the Ice Vegas Invitational in 2017-18. Smolen also logged a three point night against Harvard with two goals and an assist that sent the team to the Desert Hockey Classic championship game against Omaha. The Illinois native led all skaters in faceoff percentage (with at least 300 attempts) with a .524 success rate (183-166). His .212 shot percentage also led the entire ASU team.

Best Teammate – Brian Chambers

Brian Chambers

Graduate center Brian Chambers was named The Drew Newmeyer Best Teammate by his peers and the ASU staff. The Sports Law & Business student had a tremendous impact on the ice with four goals and 16 assists for a career high of 20 points in a season, but left a lasting impact on those around him by how he carried himself, treated others off the ice , and owned a ‘Team First’ mentality. His two game-winning goals was third on the team and he recorded the highest average time on ice of all forwards. The Massachusetts native took 755 faceoffs in his final collegiate year for a .509 percentage (384-371). Chambers continues his hockey career with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL.

The Drew Newmeyer Best Teammate Award is named after Sun Devil Hockey alumni, Drew Newmeyer, who skated for ASU from 2013-17, and was known for always putting the team first. The Scottsdale native won the ACHA national championship with the team led by head coach Greg Powers in 2014 and earned First Team All-Tournament in Nationals and was named to the WCHL All-Rookie Team. As the team transitioned to D1, Newmeyer was crucial in carrying the winning culture forward into a new age of Sun Devil Hockey. The defenseman finished his college career with 105 games played and 43 total points.

Iron Man – Ethan Szmagaj

Ethan Szmagaj takes a shot from the blue line
Alternate captain and junior defenseman Ethan Szmagaj was named Iron Man, recognizing the hardest worker in the gym. Szmagaj recorded 58 blocks this past season for the Sun Devils and finished with three goals and four assists.

Practice Hero – David Hymovitch

Freshman David Hymovitch was recognized as the Practice Hero, honoring his hard work and dedication in team practices throughout the season. Hymovitch played in his first of three collegiate games on Jan. 20 against Augustana and helped the Sun Devils win all three games he appeared in.

For Sun Devil Hockey team award history, click here.