Hockey Humanitarian Award Nominees

MINNEAPOLIS – University of Minnesota senior defenseman Lee Stecklein ('17 BSB) is one of 15 nominees for the 2017 Hockey Humanitarian Award, the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation announced this week.

The Foundation and its long-time lead sponsor BNY Mellon Wealth Management present the Award annually to college hockey’s finest citizen — a student-athlete who makes significant contributions not only to his or her team but also to the community-at-large through leadership in volunteerism.

The award finalists will be announced in February, and the 2017 award recipient will be recognized in a ceremony on Friday, April 7 as part of the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four weekend in Chicago.

Stecklein is a three-year captain and four-year letterwinner for the Golden Gophers. She began her senior year as a three-time NCAA national champion team member, having won a national title as a freshman in 2013 before redshirting the 2013-14 season while representing the United States as a member of the U.S. Olympic Team at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Stecklein then won back-to-back national titles with the Gophers as a sophomore in 2015 and a junior in 2016. Her involvement with USA Hockey includes winning three gold medals at the IIHF Women’s World Championships in 2013, 2015, and 2016.

Through 25 games in her senior year, Stecklein ranks third in the WCHA and 15th in the NCAA for scoring among defensemen with 0.64 points per game. She has 14 points (two goals, 12 assists); her 12 assists are the most by a WCHA defenseman. Stecklein has already left her mark in Minnesota’s record book, currently ranked eighth both in career points (83) and career assists (65) among all-time Gopher defensemen. She needs just one more goal to tie for 10th in program history in career goals (18). Stecklein’s career plus-minus mark of plus-128 is just shy of Minnesota’s all-time top-10 as well.

A left-handed defenseman from Roseville, Minn., Stecklein is a two-time AHCA/CCM All-American Second Team honoree, a two-time All-USCHO honoree, and a two-time All-WCHA First Team honoree. Earlier this year, Stecklein was honored as Minnesota’s 2016 Patty Berg Legacy Award recipient for her academic and athletic achievements as a Gopher student-athlete. A two-time WCHA All-Academic Team selection and WCHA Scholar Athlete, Stecklein will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business as a double major in Entrepreneurial Management and Marketing in the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

Stecklein's talent on the ice and dedication in the classroom speak for themselves, but her character, work ethic, and passion are what set her apart. She constantly puts her team and the success of the other people ahead of her own desires. She approaches every situation with humility and compassion, making her skills as a leader and a team captain invaluable.

Throughout her Gopher career, Stecklein has extensive volunteer experience including HopeKids and the University of Minnesota's annual HopeDay Festival, visits to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, assistance with the U of MN’s Unlimited Dance Marathon, and organizations including Create a Memory, Special Olympics Minnesota, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Kidstop events, Playworks, University YMCA, Feed My Starving Children, and more. She has logged over 135 volunteer hours with various community outreach volunteer activities as a Gopher.