Hobey Baker Watch: Week 3
The college hockey season is in full swing, and on display is some of the best talent that the NCAA has ever had to offer. Although it’s early in the season, it is never too early to take a look at this year’s potential Hobey Baker Award winners. Every year, the Hobey Baker Award is given to the best player in college hockey. Before the end of each season, the NCAA selects 10 nominees for the award.
This week, we will introduce a few more impact players that are in the conversation for the Hobey Baker Award.
Cole Caufield, Wisconsin
For the fourth consecutive week, Cole Caufield remains atop our potential Hobey Baker Award winners, as he continues to perform at an elite level no matter the competition. There is zero reason to remove the 5-foot-7-inch Caufield from this list, as he is just getting started on his rampage of the NCAA. To absolutely nobody's surprise, he leads the NCAA with six goals in four games and is projected to continue at this ridiculous goal-per-game pace. The NCAA is simply awestruck at the ridiculous talent that he possesses: one that will be a nightmare for every team he faces this season. His most recent victim may be the best of them all: Minnesota Duluth. Caufield propelled his Badgers to a dominating sweep over the back-to-back defending national champions, putting two through the net in Game 1 of the series. At this point, Caufield is still the favorite to win the Hobey Baker Award.
Alex Turcotte, Wisconsin
After jumping from No. 17 to No. 6 in the latest USCHO poll, it’s clear that Wisconsin is a serious threat this season. Alongside Caufield, Alex Turcotte is another elite prospect that brings power to the Badgers’ roster this season. Turcotte is considered a highly competitive, two-way center with elite vision and playmaking ability. These traits compliment his ability to read the ice, where he’s capable of making high-end passes at full speed.
Like Caufield, Turcotte is off to a hot start. He has scored eight points in four games this season. Half of his points did come against Minnesota Duluth. It’s safe to assume that Caufield and Turcotte, who are actually best friends in real life, will rack up high point production this season as a duo, as Turcotte has already been the primary assist on three of Caufield’s six goals.
Johnny Walker, Arizona State
Arizona State’s Cinderella story last season came largely on the back of elite goal-scorer Johnny Walker. There is no reason to believe that he can’t do it again. Walker has already shined early this season, looking to be even stronger than last. So far, Walker has tallied four goals and six assists, good enough for 10 points. That puts him atop the NCAA point leaderboard.
Last season, Walker lead the NCAA in goals for a larger portion of the season but finished on a cold streak. Still, his 23 goals in 39 games were good enough to finish tied for second in the nation. Typically, the NCAA’s leading goal scorer usually hovers around 30 goals in a season. Based on the way he has played thus far, it would not be a surprise at all if Walker hits that milestone and propels himself deeper into Hobey Baker Award conversation.
Kyle Cannillo is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.