Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/2/13

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 17: Paul Kariya #9 of the St. Louis Blues skates against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center on October 17, 2009 in Anaheim, California. The Blues defeated the Ducks 5-0. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
As arguably the nation’s preeminent college hockey conference, Hockey East has boasted its share of legends throughout its 29-year history. Choosing a single definitive Hockey East all-star team is difficult enough, but what if you had to choose just one player to captain that squad? Undeniably the most high-profile player on this list, Paul Kariya was a dominant force during his short time in Hockey East. Prior to his 15-year NHL career, Kariya became the first freshman to win the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player — a mark that still stands to this day — while leading Maine to the Hockey East and NCAA championships. By the time he started his career with the Mighty Ducks midway through his sophomore year, he had already left an undeniable mark on college hockey. Also deserving consideration is Gustav Nyquist, another Black Bears great. Nyquist led his team in points during each of his three seasons in Orono, including a 61-point campaign in 2009-10 that led all of college hockey and made him a finalist for the Hobey Baker. Former UMass defenseman Justin Braun had a banner season in 2009-10 as well, tallying 23 goals and 31 points from the blue line as captain of the Minutemen. Braun, who now patrols the defensive zone for the San Jose Sharks, topped the 20-point mark in three of his four seasons in Amherst and was named a first-team USCHO All-Star and a second-team All-American as a senior. Boston College fans remember fondly the days of Brian Gionta wearing the “C” at Conte Forum. The diminutive (5-foot-7) winger led the Eagles to a national championship in 2001 and took home a host of conference and national awards, including three first-team Hockey East nods, three first-team All-America selections and the Walter Brown Award for the nation’s best American-born college player. Just a few miles down the road, Kevin Shattenkirk made history at Boston University in 2009-10, becoming the first sole junior captain of the Terriers in nearly 50 years. He earned his honors on the ice, being named to the All-NCAA second team while leading BU to a national championship in 2008-09. Though it’s rare for a goalie to serve as team captain, no discussion of Hockey East greats would be complete without mentioning Jimmy Howard. The current Red Wings netminder was a brick wall between the pipes for the Black Bears from 2002-05, setting team records in shutouts, goals against average and save percentage while leading Maine to the NCAA title game in 2004. It’s hard to narrow down such a loaded roster, but if you had to choose one player to captain your squad, who would it be? Take Our Poll
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Teammate: Victor Cruz looks faster now than ever before

Donald Trump rips Boston mayor over failed Olympic bid

Power struggles becoming the norm for successful franchises

Report: Tom Brady destroyed phone, suspension to be upheld

J.J. Watt calls training camp 'the greatest'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Hibbert asked agent to find him a coach who played in NBA

Irsay, Goodell haven't spoken about Deflategate since January

Arizona Cardinals make Jen Welter first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Junior Seau family says Hall of Fame went back on its word

Kobe will probably see time at power forward next year

Six players poised for big year after season-ending injuries

‘Mystery pooper’ torments golf course by defecating in holes

Gyllenhaal’s parents made him turn down ‘Mighty Ducks’ role

Eli, Romo channel Rob Lowe in new DirecTV commercials

Troy Tulowitzki, the Blue Jays, and upgrading strengths

Nick Saban has incredible advice for his players on chasing girls

Nik Stauskas trolls Thad Matta

Will Smith fires back at former teammate Junior Galette

Sammy Watkins: It's a "problem" if Bills don't win AFC East

The most important quarterback in the game?

Boston Mayor Walsh refusing to sign Olympic host contract

Chris Johnson accused of smashing up Rolls-Royce rental

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Kyle Busch continues historic run with Brickyard win

WATCH: Mike Trout HR lands in 'Trout Net'

With Cueto dealt, what's the market for other pitchers?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker