North Dakota senior defenseman Dillon Simpson has been named one of 20 national men's hockey candidates for the 2013-14 Senior CLASS Award.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
UND's youngest team captain in more than 20 years, Simpson was named to the College Hockey News' 2013-14 Preseason All-CHN Second Team. He was named UND's Most Improved Player last season after leading the team's defensemen with a career-high five goals and 19 assists in 42 games. A fourth-round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2011, Simpson enters the weekend with nine goals and 44 assists in 120 career games.
In the classroom, Simpson is a managerial finance and corporate accounting major with a 3.725 cumulative grade point average. He is both a two-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete and a two-time All-WCHA Academic Team selection. He was also the recipient of UND's Rick & Lori Lee Impact Scholarship as a junior and senior.
One of UND's most active student-athletes in the community, Simpson had already given his time to more than 30 community service events as of October 2013. Organizations for which Dillon has volunteered include, but are not limited to, Special Olympics, Northlands Rescue Mission, Great Grand Forks Senior Center, Grand Forks Public Library, Grand Forks Park District, Empire Arts Center, Department of Transportation and numerous area elementary schools.
Simpson is UND's third national candidate for the Senior CLASS Award, joining Robbie Bina in 2007-08 and Chay Genoway in 2010-11. Genoway was also named to the 2010-11 Senior CLASS Award All-America First Team.
The 20 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Men's Frozen Final Four® in April.
For more information, or to see the complete list of candidates, visit www.seniorclassaward.com.