Michigan’s Nieves named CCHA Rookie of the Month

Michigan freshman forward Boo Nieves. (Courtesy of Michigan Athletic Communications)

By Michael Caples -

After a stellar month of February, Wolverines freshman forward Cristoval ‘Boo’ Nieves is getting some league recognition.

The Baldwinsville, N.Y., native, was named the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s ‘Rookie of the Month’ for February, it was annouced today.

The second-round pick of the New York Rangers from last summer’s NHL Draft has eight goals and 18 assists in 32 games this season.

Nieves had three assists in the Wolverines’ sweep of the Buckeyes last weekend, just the latest in a strong series of performances in February. He kicked off the month by scoring twice against instate-rival Michigan State on Feb.  1, along with an assist. He also picked up a goal and an assist on Feb. 8 against Notre Dame.

Nieves ranks No. 10 in overall scoring in the CCHA this season, and No. 5 in assists.

From the CCHA release:

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) announced today that forward Cristoval Nieves of Michigan has been named the Gongshow Rookie of the Month for February and Miami freshman Ryan McKay has been named the Gongshow Goaltender of the Month for February.

Nieves led both the CCHA and the nation in rookie scoring with four goals and ten points in February, helping Michigan to a 4-2-0 record, including the Wolverines’ only two sweeps of the season. The 2012 second-round draft pick of the New York Rangers scored points in five of six games, notched four multi-point contests and was named CCHA Gongshow Rookie of the Week on Feb. 4.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound forward started the month off with a pair of goals and an assist against Michigan State in a 3-2 win on Feb. 1. The following night, he added another goal and assist in a 5-2 victory at Joe Louis Arena over the Spartans. The following weekend the Wolverines were swept by Notre Dame as Nieves notched a 1-1-2 scoring line on Feb. 8 in a 7-4 loss and was held off the scoresheet the following night for the only time all month in a 6-4 defeat. The Baldwinsville, N.Y., native closed out the month at Ohio State on Feb. 22-23, where he potted an assist on Friday night, a 5-3 win, and then added a pair of assists the following night in a 6-3 victory.

Special mention for the Gongshow Rookie of the Month honors goes to Miami forward Riley Barber.