The college hockey season may have looked a little different this year, but award voting will go on anyway. Today, the ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Award were announced. The trophy is given to the top NCAA player in the country and has an impressive line of winners over the past few years. In 2014, Johnny Gaudreau took home the award as a junior for Boston College, followed by Jack Eichel in his only year for Boston University in 2015. Jimmy Vesey, Will Butcher, and Adam Gaudette don’t bring quite the same impact but are still NHL regulars after winning from 2016-18.
2019’s winner was University of Massachusetts defenseman Cale Makar, who has gone on to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie and is now dominating the league with the Colorado Avalanche. Last year the award was given to Scott Perunovich, but his NHL debut has been postponed thanks to a major shoulder injury.
The award also has several top NHL alumni in its small fraternity, including Neal Broten, Tom Kurvers, Paul Kariya, Chris Drury, Ryan Miller, and Brendan Morrison. With that group behind them, this year’s winner is certainly not someone to take lightly.
Earlier this year, more than 50 players from the NCAA ranks were nominated for the award, and today that number has been reduced to just ten. These ten players will be narrowed to just three, a process that anyone can be a part of by participating in the fan vote. Votes will be added to the decision from a selection committee to produce three finalists, from which a winner will be crowned.
The top-10 finalists are as follows, with the NHL organization who owns their draft rights in parenthesis:
Shane Pinto, University of North Dakota (Ottawa Senators)
Matthew Boldy, Boston College (Minnesota Wild)
David Farrance, Boston University (Nashville Predators)
Cole Caufield, University of Wisconsin (Montreal Canadiens)
Dylan Holloway, University of Wisconsin (Edmonton Oilers)
Spencer Knight, Boston College (Florida Panthers)
Jack LaFontaine, University of Minnesota (Carolina Hurricanes)
Dryden McKay, Minnesota State University-Mankato (undrafted)
Keith Petruzzelli, Quinnipiac University (Detroit Red Wings)
Odeen Tufto, Quinnipiac University (undrafted)
The three Hattrick Finalists will be named on April 1, though Caufield is expected to run away with the award. The 20-year-old sniper had quite the season, leading the nation in scoring with 28 goals and 49 points in just 30 games.