Hobey Baker Watch: Week 6

Story posted November 4, 2021 in CommRadio, Sports by Maclain Young

A broken record has one college hockey player leading the pack early for Hobey Baker Award contention while other top point getters chase from behind.

No. 2 Minnesota State’s star goaltender Dryden McKay passed former Michigan State superstar Ryan Miller for career NCAA shutouts with the 27th of his career.

McKay now has three shutouts on the season to go along with a .914 save percentage, a 1.645 goals-against average and a 6-2 record on the season.

McKay has clearly been the best goaltender in the nation so far and picking up more shutouts to increase his record number will definitely sit with voters over the course of the year.

The nation’s leading point-getter thus far has been Arizona State’s Matthew Kopperud with 17. The sophomore forward has scored eight goals and assisted nine others through just 10 games.

The issue for Kopperud thus far has been his team’s success. Arizona State has been better now with a 6-4 record, but is still unranked.

The Sun Devils are receiving votes in the USCHO poll, so perhaps by the end of the year Kopperud will be leading a top-20 team.

Kopperud has also slowed down a bit after a ridiculous start, but nevertheless, he still leads the nation in points.
The nation’s current leader in goals does not share the same problem as Kopperud. Senior forward Taylor Ward is looking like a superstar for No. 9 Omaha.

Ward has notched 10 goals in eight games to go along with six assists. Omaha is rolling right now with seven straight victories after losing its opener in overtime.

Ward has been a monster on the powerplay, scoring eight of his 10 goals while on the man advantage.
Omaha as a team has been stellar on the powerplay, converting on nearly 30% of its opportunities. This is a tough pace to keep up with and it will be interesting to see if Ward’s goal total will be affected by a possible regression in Omaha’s powerplay.

Michigan may have been upset by Wisconsin this past week, but that did not stop star forward Kent Johnson from netting an amazing goal.

Johnson is second on the Wolverines in points with 10, and despite their struggles has begun to shine and show why he was a top-five pick in the most recent NHL draft.

Johnson has four goals, including the between the legs beauty scored on the powerplay this weekend against the Badgers.

Once again, the question for Michigan players and Hobey Baker aspirations is standing out on their own team. 
Johnson certainly stood out this week, but next week the story could be completely different. It could be first overall pick Owen Power or electric freshman defenseman Luke Hughes.

It remains to be seen as the season goes on if one Michigan player will separate themselves as the best and gain Hobey Baker recognition.


Maclain Young is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email macyoung21@gmail.com.