Hobey Baker Watch: Week 24

Story posted March 10, 2021 in CommRadio, Sports by Christopher Hess

With the Hobey Baker Award announcement just weeks away, players are slowly putting the finishing touches on their resumes in order to impress the committee and fans.

It’ll be a sprint to the finish with conference tournaments heating up and plenty of the country’s best players will be putting their talents on full display in front of a national audience.

Here are three players who stand out on a wide list of talented candidates.

Colin Bilek, F, Army Black Knights

One of the fastest rising prospects in the sport and one of the most prolific goal scorers in the nation tops the list for this week.

Bilek has taken tremendous strides in year three at West Point and has 16 goals through 19 games played in this wild and wacky season. In addition, he is tied for second in the nation in goals with 16, alongside Minnesota’s Sampo Ranta.

Look for Bilek to rise up in the Atlantic Hockey tournament and lead his Army team, which has a record of 12-1-1 in its last 14 games, to a potential path to the NCAA tournament.

Mareks Mitens, G, Lake Superior State Lakers

The Latvian product Mitens has had a nice career in Sault St. Marie for the Lakers and his senior season has been the best one yet.

While wearing the blue and gold, Mitens has been steady and reliable in net, consistently challenging Minnesota State’s Dryden McKay and Bemidji State’s Zach Driscoll for best in the WCHA.

This year has been no different. He is still one of the top goaltenders in the WCHA with an impressive stat line including a record of 11-5-3 in 21 games played, a goals-against average of 1.86 and a save percentage of .934.

Lake State, at the current moment, is on the bubble for the NCAA tournament and a few wins with Mitens leading the way, could thrust the Lakers into an at-large bid and strengthen the netminder’s resume.

Shane Pinto, F, North Dakota Fighting Hawks

Ottawa Senators fans better be excited because the Franklin Square native and the pride of Long Island is the real deal for the No. 2 team in the land.

Pinto leads the Fighting Hawks in goals with 15 and has 28 points in 23 games, which is also tops on a team that is absolutely loaded with future NHL talents such as Jordan Kawaguchi, Grant Mismash, Jake Sanderson and Jacob Bernard-Docker.

Pinto was also named to first team All-NCHC and his resume seems to just keep on getting stronger as each day passes.

The Fighting Hawks are a serious contender for the national championship for the second straight year and Pinto will play an integral role in getting his team to that point.

Christopher Hess is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email christopherhess22@gmail.com.