10 finalists have been named for this year’s Hobey Baker Award, for the nation’s top player.
Here are the finalists:
Matty Beniers, Forward, Michigan
Bobby Brink, Forward, Denver
Brian Halonen, Forward, Michigan Tech
Luke Hughes, Defenseman, Michigan
Devon Levi, Goalie, Northeastern
Dryden McKay, Goalie, Minnesota State
Ben Meyers, Forward, Minnesota
Yanev Perets, Goalie, Quinnipiac
Nathan Smith, Forward, Minnesota State
Bobby Trivigno, Forward, Massachusetts
The race for the Hobey feels fairly open this year. The Olympics didn’t play as big a role in the race as we might have expected with both the US and Canada getting bounced from the tournament without every playing for a medal. And absent are arguably the two most talented players in the NCAA this season in North Dakota’s Jake Sanderson—who has been hampered by injury in the second half of the year—and Michigan’s Owen Power, who might have been a tough sell because he’s being out-scored by Hughes.
Bobby Brink has edged into the lead in the national scoring race ahead of Nathan Smith thanks to a sensational run in the second half, and is somehow the only nominee from the NCHC.
Ben Meyers has also made a late-season push, coming off a strong Olympic performance and registering multi-point games in his last four, while leading Minnesota to a conference title and putting the Gophers in position for a top seed in the NCAA Tournament. Ranking just 13th in points per game nationally could hurt him, however.
Three goalies also made the cut, though the award has traditionally been extremely difficult for goalies to win. This year will likely be a similar story, especially since Perets and Levi have such similar numbers, it’s difficult to imagine either one individually gaining much traction.
After the NCAA regionals, the list will be cut down to three players, with the winner being named at this year’s Frozen Four.