Hobey Baker Watch: week 7
There’s a lot of hockey to be played, but week in and week out Penn State continues to put up an unbelievable amount of goals. For that reason alone, it's impossible to deny the possibility of a few Penn State players winning the Hobey Baker Award. The Hobey Baker Award is given annually to the best player in college hockey. This week, two Penn State players, Evan Barratt and Alex Limoges, along with Michigan’s Josh Norris will be highlighted.
Evan Barratt – Penn State
Evan Barratt has been incredible for the Nittany Lions thus far his sophomore season. His stats and accolades are jaw dropping: 19 Points in 11 games, a 10-game point streak dating to October 12, and a hat trick last weekend against Michigan in a bizarre 7-6 victory. He is also a +8, showing that he is contributing a little on the defensive side of the game. In nearly a third of games played, Barratt has already surpassed his point totals from last season. In addition, Barratt has a bright future in front of him. Given that he is a third-round pick by the Chicago Blackhawks, he has the opportunity to one day crack the NHL lineup and propel himself to the next tier of competition.
Alex Limoges – Penn State
To reap the benefits of one's work, means to collect the positive results of the other. By that, Alex Limoges has been fortunate enough to play on a line with Evan Barratt and has been just as productive. The unstoppable force that wears No. 9 has been something special this season. He is tied with Barratt in points with 19 in just 11 games. He also is on a 10-game point streak. Limoges has been a playmaking machine this season, as he has the primary assist on nine of his 14 assists. When putting a player in the Hobey Baker conversation, primary assists are important to look at. It shows that his vision and creativity allows him to find open players and make crisp passes. To make his game more well-rounded, he will need to improve his defensive play. He was -1 last season and this season he is only a +5 which is below his teams average.
Josh Norris – Michigan
Josh Norris has been all over the score sheet for the Wolverines thus far. The sophomore forward is now tied for fourth in the NCAA with eight goals while ranking ninth in points with a total of 15. Norris has greatly improved his shot from last season. Just a third of the way through the season and Norris has already tied his goal total from last year. During this past weekend against Penn State, Norris was able to score a goal in each game of the series. What has been special about Norris is his 5-on-5 talent; not a single one of his eight goals were scored on the powerplay. If Norris continues this trajectory, it is quite possible to see him at the NHL level soon. In 2017, he was the 19th overall selection by the San Jose Sharks.
I do not think there is any slowing down for the Nittany Lions. They play an aggressive style with a simple message: score more goals than the opponent. Baring an injury, it is easy to see why the most prolific offense in the NCAA will have a Hobey Baker nominee. If they keep up this rate of production, these three could be candidates to win the award.
Kyle Cannillo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.