There were a number of very qualified candidates to consider when we choose the 2011-12 INCH Defenseman of the Year and each had many admirable traits. In making the selection, a number of factors were considered. Many defensemen put up big offensive numbers, as did this player. Several were standouts in the defensive zone, as was this player. Many assumed huge leadership roles on their teams, and this player certainly did. When all factors were considered, Michigan State’s Torey Krug was selected as the 2011-12 Inside College Hockey Defenseman of the Year.
His offensive production was great. Krug posted 34 points in 38 games, including a seven-game stretch from late January through mid-February in which Krug scored 13 points as Michigan State went 5-2-0 and solidified its place in the CCHA standings. His defensive work was noteworthy, as Krug posted a plus-17 rating and finished the regular season with a plus-21 rating.
Most importantly, Krug was the single most-important reason that Michigan State posted a winning season and made a return to the NCAA Tournament. He was a two-year captain, logged a ton of ice time and came up with big plays in the team’s biggest games. His peers recognized what he meant as Krug was selected as the CCHA Player of the Year and a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award.
Krug’s junior year was his last as a college hockey player, as he signed a professional contract with the Boston Bruins after Michigan State’s season ended and has already made his NHL debut. That’s not to say he didn’t have a complete college career. He was a 2012 AHCA West Region First Team All-American, a two-time First Team All-CCHA pick, and twice named as the CCHA’s Best Offensive Defenseman. Now, he adds INCH Defenseman of the Year honors to his impressive list of accolades.
His Runner-Up: Brian Dumoulin, Boston College
• INCH’s year-end awards are decided upon with input from the editorial staff of InsideCollegeHockey.com and in consultation with coaches and other college hockey followers from across the country.