Hobey Baker Award watch: week 6
The Hobey Baker race is heating up. For those who are unfamiliar with the award, at the end of each season the Hobey Baker Award is given to the best player in college hockey. Now that the season is roughly a third of the way through, nominees for the award are becoming a bit more clear. We have picked three players that could win it if they continue their trajectory.
Johnny Walker - Arizona State
It's hard to deny the sensation that has been Johnny Walker so far this year. For the second straight week, he reigns as the NCAA point leader with 17 points in only 12 games played. The sophomore forward has led Arizona State to its first ranking in school history. The Sun Devils now rank a well deserved No. 19 in the nation. Walker was the catalyst in Arizona State’s upset win over the Penn State Nittany Lions, as he had four points in just two games. Unfortunately for Walker, he was unable to register a point this past weekend when Arizona State swept Michigan State. With a struggling Harvard team next up on the schedule, look for him to get back to his scoring ways.
Taro Hirose - Michigan State
Michigan State's Tiro Hirose picked up right where he left off last season. Hirose has the attributes to make him one of the best in College hockey. Taro Hirose is often compared to NHL superstar Johnny Gaudreau due to their similar height and weight. Hirose won't beat you with his size and strength but the 5-foot-10 forward is hard to contain; he is an an excellent skater who is best known for his agility. In addition, he possesses great poise with the puck and has excellent hockey sense. This season, he has been able to notch 14 points in just eight games. Last season, he averaged more than a point per game. If he continues this trajectory, he has a strong possibility at becoming at least a nominee for the Hobey Baker Award.
Scott Perunovich - Minnesota-Duluth
The best player on the best team.
The defending National Champions Minnesota-Duluth are more than thrilled with Perunovich’s performance thus far this season. Tied for third in NCAA scoring, Perunovich has produced 14 points in 10 games played.
Did we mention that he was a defenseman? That's right, Perunovich leads all NCAA defenseman in points thus far this season. In his freshman year, he recorded 36 points in 42 games en route to a national championship. After that impressive year, the St. Louis Blues drafted him in the second round with the 45th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
While there is still a lot of hockey to be played, these players have shown impressive performances week in and week out. Each have made a strong case for the Hobey Baker award. If they keep up this rate of production, these three will be shoe-in’s for at least a nomination for the award.
Kyle Cannillo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.