Steve Aronson, a senior from Minnetonka, capped off his storied St. Thomas hockey career with the ultimate honor — being named the NCAA Division III Player of the Year by the American Hockey Coaches Association. The award was announced Thursday at the NCAA Division I Frozen Four. Aronson becomes the first MIAC player to receive the elite award.
Aronson also was selected Division III National Player of the Year earlier this week by U.S. College Hockey Online.
“Steve is the finest player that I’ve ever coached, bar none,” said UST Coach Terry Skrypek, whose 30-year coaching career includes 17 seasons at Hill-Murray High and 13 at St. Thomas. “I think he’s the best college hockey player in Division III, and I’d put him up against many Division I players. He’s very unselfish, and has worked hard to have a complete hockey game. I think he has the mental toughness to play professionally.”
A two-time MIAC Player of the Year and three-time first-team All-America, Aronson broke several records in his four seasons at UST, including Andre Beaulieu’s 35-year-old MIAC scoring record. Aronson surpassed Beaulieu by nine points, finishing with 244 career points (104 goals, 140 assists). Aronson’s career totals also rank him first on UST’s career list for goals, assists, and points.
While leading his team to a runner-up finish at the NCAA tournament and 27-4-2 overall record, Aronson led all Division III scorers this season, averaging 2.76 ppg. His 91 points (38 goals, 53 assists) broke UST’s single season mark of 83, set 20 years ago by Mark Hentges. He was a member of three Tommie teams that won MIAC hockey championships, and played in the NCAA playoffs twice.
Aronson is also a starter on the St. Thomas baseball team that was the NCAA Division III runner-up last season. He has a 3.38 GPA in business and is an Academic All-America candidate.
Aronson is the lone Division III Player invited to play in an elite college all-star game set for April 13-17. He’s been contacted by several NHL teams to sign as a free agent, and likely will be playing minor-league hockey in the fall.
Aronson was selected USCHO’s Division III Player of the Year by Division III coaches and media who participate in USCHO’s weekly national poll, the Division III reporting staff at U. S. College Hockey Online, and by the combined vote of fans. Runner-up to Aronson was Keith Aucoin of NCAA champion Norwich. Aucoin, last year’s USCHO Division III Player of the Year, was named this year’s ECAC East Player of the Year and a first-team All-American. Aucoin led Coach Mike McShane’s 1999-2000 Division III National Champion Cadets in scoring, and set the single-season scoring record for Norwich.
Steve Aronson Career Hockey Stats