Schmidt, from Hermantown, has been named the winner of the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award, given out by the Hockey Commissioners Association. It's named after former Army player Derek Hines, who was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan in 2006.
The award is in its fifth year, and is given to a player who personifies Hines' spirit and commitment, as he was regarded as a great team player.
In a release from UMD, Schmidt says, "Although I never met Derek or ever saw him compete, he sounds like the kind of player I have always strived to be. It is a tremendous privilege for me to be selected for an award named in his honor. Over the past four years, I have been blessed in so many ways while being part of one of the best hockey programs in the country. Receiving the Derek Hines Award certainly is at the top of that list of blessings."
Schmidt has overcome a broken hand on two separate occasions this season, including two weeks ago, when he was injured during the regional final win over Yale.
“Kyle’s been a great representative of our program both off and on the ice,” UMD head coach Scott Sandelin said. “To me, he’s the ideal student-athlete, someone who has an undeniable commitment to hockey, academics and the community. It’s nice to see him being recognized with this award.”
Via UMD, here is a rundown of Schmidt's off-ice credentials, which certainly could make virtually any Bulldog fan proud:
Schmidt, who is majoring in statistics and actuarial science, owns a 3.70 cumulative grade point average and is a three-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award winner (a program first). He has qualified for the School of Science and Engineering Dean’s List on three occasions and earned a spot on the UMD Athletic Support Center Scholar List for maintaining the highest cumulative grade point average of any Bulldog as both a freshman and sophomore. Schmidt has also made the WCHA All-Academic Team in each of the past three years, and has been a member of the UMD Actuary Club and a tutor at the UMD Tutoring Center since arriving on campus.
Schmidt has also been active in the Twin Ports community during his stay at UMD, volunteering his time reading at local elementary schools and assisting at area youth hockey practices. Last month, he was bestowed with the 2010-11 Bulldog Fan Favorite Award for receiving the most votes in an on-line competition.
Schmidt and his Bulldog teammates will face off against Michigan for the NCAA title Saturday night here in St. Paul.