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ASU Hockey Year in Review: Most Valuable Player

The Sun Devils have so many players who stand out on the ice, but few can match the drive and determination that captain Colin Hekle brings to the ice on a day-to-day basis.

The 2012-2013 MVP belongs to No. 15 Colin Hekle.
The 2012-2013 MVP belongs to No. 15 Colin Hekle.
(Photo: Allyson Cummings - Walter Cronkite Sports Network)

Arizona State might have the most talented roster in the ACHA, but there's still one Sun Devil player that stands above the rest.

At 6-foot-4, junior forward Colin Hekle is easily noticeable because he's the tallest player to don the black, white and gold colors of the hockey team.

However, that's not the only reason he stood out this season.

The dynamic scoring threat totaled 24 goals and 31 assists en route to a career high 55 points this season.

While his statistics may be impressive, it's what the Winnipeg native did on a day-to-day basis that makes him this season's Most Valuable Player.

Hekle wore the captain's "C" on his jersey and few leaders in the college hockey landscape compare to the pride of the Sun Devils.

After compiling a 50-point freshman season and a 39-point sophomore campaign, Hekle outdid himself and subsequently helped the Sun Devil program reach newfound heights in the 2012-2013 season.

Under his on-ice leadership, Arizona State started the season on an 18-0 tear, ascended to No. 1 in the rankings, defeated an NCAA Division 1 opponent in Penn State, and reached the semifinals of the ACHA National Tournament.

Hekle's propensity for clutch moments was felt throughout the season, and that's why he rarely came off the ice in special teams situations.

The junior scored seven power play goals and tied for the ACHA lead with six short-handed goals.

Arizona State's rise to prominence coincided with the best hockey of Hekle's career as he registered at least one point in 18 of the Sun Devils' first 19 games.

Hekle's value to his team was unparalleled, and unfortunately, the Sun Devils found this out the hard way.

On Feb. 1, the forward took an awkward hit from an Arizona Wildcat player and fell into the boards awkwardly, suffering an upper body injury.

Though he was not expected to return this season, Hekle willed himself back onto the ice for the National Tournament.

His drive and determination was ever apparent, but his teammates and coaches knew that Hekle was not playing at 100 percent.

Despite his injury, the captain still contributed valuable minutes and helped Arizona State advance deep into the tournament.

While the Sun Devils ultimately came up short, Hekle will have one final chance at making a push for an ACHA title.

The Sun Devils return the majority of one of the greatest rosters in ACHA history, and Hekle will have another chance to lead this program to the promise land.

Of all the players to wear the Sun Devil uniform, few rival Hekle's combination of talent, character, and tenacity and that's why he is the 2012-2013 Most Valuable Player.