Hobey Baker Watch
Hobey Baker Watch
This week in the Hobey Baker watch, I will give my final predictions for who will win the award.
First Place: Adam Gaudette, F, Northeastern
I have written about Gaudette ad nauseum this year, but his performance has soared above and beyond every other player in the running.
Gaudette finished the regular season with a nation-leading 56 points on 29 goals and 27 assists. Consistency was the name of the game for Gaudette this season. He registered at least a point in 26 out of 34 games, maintaining a rate of 1.65 points per game.
He played in all situations for the Huskies and thrived in all three zones. On the powerplay, he notched 11 goals. He scored twice while shorthanded and finished with a plus 16 rating. All of this exhibits his exemplary play in all three zones and any situation but also proves his consistency throughout the year.
To cap off his extraordinary season, Gaudette has gone on a tear to finish the season. In his final seven contests, Gaudette put up an unreal 17 points after scoring 10 goals and assisting on seven others.
His strong finish to the season cements his place as the best player in college hockey. In my book, Adam Gaudette is the 2018 Hobey Baker Award winner.
Second Place: Dylan Sikura, F, Northeastern
Gaudette’s linemate has had a stellar season in his own right and has contributed greatly to Gaudette’s success. So why isn’t Sikura ranked first and Gaudette second?
Sikura had a great season but does not have the same balanced attack that Gaudette provides. Sikura finished the regular season with 17 goals and 31 assists for 48 points, which puts him right behind Gaudette for tops in the country. 48 points in 31 games is a lot, but with such a high assist total, it is hard to say if he would have the same success without Gaudette by his side.
Additionally, 12 of his 17 goals came on the power play. Being a power play scorer is not a bad thing, but only scoring five times at even strength shows that Sikura has trouble scoring when checking is tighter.
In his defense, he has used his speed to create offense for his line, which has helped his linemates score more goals. By setting up his teammates so often, Sikura has fewer opportunities to score goals himself.
Sikura had a great season but was just one step behind his teammate, Adam Gaudette.
Third Place: Henrik Borgström, F, Denver
In many eyes, Borgström was the preseason favorite to win the Hobey Baker. He had 43 points in his freshman year and everyone thought he was poised to shatter that this year.
He has played well this year, but not that well. He finished with 18 goals, 23 assists and 41 points. His numbers are very respectable, but not close to the numbers of the players at the top of the charts.
When Borgström played well, he looked like the best player in the country, but too often, he was shut down by the opposition. He was held to one or fewer points in 21 of his 31 games. The top players in college hockey find ways to produce multiple points per game on a regular basis and Borgström was unable to do that this year.
The reason for this could be that teams made him their top defensive priority when playing Denver because of his great freshman season. Teams were successful in shutting him down more so than last year, and to win the Hobey Baker, a player needs to find ways to produce even against the other team’s best players.
With all of that being said, Borgström is one of the most skilled players in the nation and still produced enough to be a top 10 scorer. Borgström did enough to get consideration for the Hobey Baker, but at the end of the day, his numbers are not enough to call him the best player in college hockey.
Josh Starr is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.