MSU has most players taken since 2006
102 Spartans student-athletes were recognized for having a 3.0 or better GPA.
MSU athletes inspired to help, thank others.
MSU's top defensive pair takes home a combined five awards
A record 294 Spartan student-athletes were honored for cumulative GPAs of 3.0 or better.
Michigan State skates to a 4-2 win over Lake Superior State on Jan. 20.
2010-11 (Junior) Recipient of the prestigious Mike and Marian Ilitch Humanitarian Award from the CCHA ... also a Hockey Humanitarian Academic All-Big Ten selection ... Appeared in 29 goames with a goal and a pair of assists ... Opened the season with a point in three straight games ... Scored his first goal of the season against Alaska (10/22), the lone goal in a 1-1 tie with the Nanooks ... Recorded a career-best three blocked shots at Western Michigan (11/6) ... Had three blocks in the 5-2 victory at Minnesota (11/26).
2009-10 (Sophomore): Appeared in 26 games for the Spartans ... Tallied a pair of goals and seven assists for nine points ... Skated 11 games on MSU's "Blood Line" with Dean Chelios and Brett Perlini. All three players' fathers skated in the NHL ... Finished a +6 on the season ... Recorded his first points of the year at the Great Lakes Invitational, turning in a five-point weekend ... Had a goal and two assists (+3) against Michigan Tech (12/29)... Had a pair of helpers against Renssleaer in the GLI final and was a +2 (12/30) ... Assisted on both goals at Notre Dame (1/15) ... Scored a third-period marker against Ohio State (1/22).
2008-09 (Freshman): Skated in 34 of 38 games ... Had a goal and a pair of assists ... Notched an assist and was +1 in his first game as a Spartan, Michigan State's 3-1 victory over Massachusetts in the Ice Breaker Invitational in Boston (10/10)...First collegiate goal was game-tying tally in third-period of 2-2 tie at Western Michigan (11/1)...Assisted on Joey Shean's goal in 2-1 victory over Ohio State (2/14).
Prior to MSU: Spent one season with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League (BCHL) ... Appeared in 53 games, and posted a 5-6-11 scoring line (16 PIM) ... A seventh-round selection (190th pick overall) of the St. Louis Blues in the 2007 National Hockey League entry draft ... Selected for Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge, where he won a gold medal ... Helped the Vees to a 41-15-2 record and BCHL championship, but the squad lost to Camrose in the Doyle Cup ... Attended Plymouth Christian Academy from 2003-07 ... Played scholastic baseball and soccer in addition to hockey ... Member of the High Honor Roll all four years, was a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council, and was his class president in 2005.
Personal: Born April 11, 1989 in Northville, Mich. ... Son of Rebecca and Jim Nill ... Mechanical engineering major ... Has a sister, Jenna, who is a current MSU student, and a younger sister, Kristin, who attends Plymouth Christian Academy ... Father is the assistant general manager of the Detroit Red Wings; he played 10 years in the NHL for Boston, St. Louis, Detroit, Winnipeg, and Vancouver ... Mother played soccer at Lindenwood College ... Uncle, Blake Nill, played for Montreal in the Canadian Football League ... Favorite NHL team: St. Louis Blues ... Favorite NHL player: Nick Lidstrom, because "he's the smartest player on the ice." ... Notes that his father is his biggest hockey influence, as well as his idol. "He always had good pointers for me, and he never forced me to play hockey. He always supported me." ... Enjoys mountain biking.
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