MALE BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Biega Becomes Dual Threat for Harvard
Even as a defenseman, Boston Bruins great Bobby Orr managed to lead the NHL in points.
Harvard sophomore Danny Biega has been the Bobby Orr of the Crimson men’s hockey team.
Biega’s 30 points, on 11 goals and 19 assists, were a team high, making him the first defenseman since Mark Fusco in 1981-82 to lead Harvard in scoring.
“When your leading scorer is a defenseman, [he is] always a threat because defensemen are out there so much,” sophomore forward Marshall Everson said. “When you have a kid like Danny who can skate all day and can play both ends of the rink so well, it’s so dangerous for the other team. He will shut down the first line of the other team, [and] then go score against them. When we have him on the ice, I feel like the game is tilted our way.”
Biega was the nation’s only defenseman both to finish among the top three on his team in plus-minus and lead the way in points. Overall, he led ECAC defensemen in points, goals, game winning goals, and short-handed goals. His 30 points were a significant jump from the nine he had freshman year.
“Its not to say he had a poor year freshman year...but after you play for a year in college, you understand the game better and get a little more mature,” co-captain defenseman Chris Huxley said. “It’s easier your sophomore than your freshman [to play well], and [Biega] will probably have a better year next year.”
The recognition of Biega’s professional potential was already high after last season.
He was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes with as 67th pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and was one of only two players drafted that returned to school after being selected.
The Crimson was glad he stayed in Cambridge, as he awarded the John Tudor Memorial Cup as Harvard’s most valuable player.
In addition to being named team MVP, he made the New England Hockey Writers Division I All-Star team, the All-Ivy League first team, and the ECAC Hockey all-league second team.
“I wouldn’t want to play against him in the next two years,” Everson said. “He’s going to be dangerous. Its just another thing to add to our confidence, knowing that we have him on the blue line, knowing he can score a lot of goals on any given night.”
—Staff writer Cameron Dowd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.