Blankenburg Named Senior CLASS Award Finalist
// Kristy McNeil
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Senior Captain Nick Blankenburg of the University of Michigan hockey team was named one of ten finalists for the 2021-2022 Senior CLASS award.
Blankenburg played 33 games for the Wolverines, sitting second in the pairing with a 27-9-1 record. He is second in the country in goals scored by a defenseman – just behind his teammate Luc Hughes –with 14 and adds 14 assists for 28 points. Against Michigan State in the quarterfinals of the B1G tournament, Blankenburg tied Michigan’s program record for goals scored by a senior defenseman, joining Alex Roberts beginning in the 1989-90 season. Blankenburg leads the team in blocks with 40 and is a +19.
an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Success to Stay in School, the Senior CLASS award focuses on the student-athlete spectrum and encourages students to use their sports platforms to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. To be eligible, student-athletes must be classified as a senior student or graduate of NCAA Division I and have notable accomplishments in four areas of excellence: community, class, character, and competition.
Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner, and fans are encouraged to submit votes online through March 28. Fan votes will be combined with those of the media and Division I head coaches to determine the winners.
A graduate in international studies, Blankenburg was a Big Ten scholar-athlete in each of his first three seasons. He is the captain of a team made up of seven subclasses selected in the first round of the NHL Draft and his teammates rely on him for his leadership and guidance. He was instrumental as an alternate captain last season when the season ended the day the team was scheduled to play in the NCAA Regional Semifinals. His positive energy, encouragement and thoughtfulness were unmatched during this difficult time and earned him the utmost respect among his teammates.
Blankenburg has been heavily involved in the Ann Arbor community since arriving in Michigan. He created a GoFundMe account to raise money for COVID relief for the Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor; spearheaded the team’s efforts with Team Impact by adopting 16-year-old Kellen, who has cerebral palsy; he volunteers at Grace Bible Church and Motts Children’s Hospital.
Michigan has had two other finalists for the award since its inception in 2007, Kevin Porter (2008) and Sam Piazza (2018).
The winner of the Senior CLASS award will be announced at the 2022 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four in April.