Hobey Baker Watch List: Week 16

Story posted February 22, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by Zach Green

The regular season is winding down with some conference tournaments less than two weeks away. The race for the Hobey Baker Award could not be closer, with multiple players still having a chance at winning college hockey’s most prestigious award. Last year, Jack Eichel from Boston University ran away with the award, and while others had great seasons, there was no doubt who was going to win the award. This year, the race is so close that it may end up coming down to who performs best in their conference tournaments.

1. Jimmy Vesey (LW, Harvard)

Jimmy Vesey was in danger of dropping out of the top spot on our list after appearing to suffer an injury, which held him out of last Saturday’s game. Vesey returned to action in ECAC play this past weekend, and did so with a vengeance. Vesey scored two goals and had an assist on another as he led Harvard to a victory over Colgate. This put him back on track to win the award, as he is very much the heart and soul of Harvard hockey.

2. Kyle Connor (F, Michigan)

Kyle Connor cannot stop scoring. He led Michigan to another victory this weekend, as he scored two goals and assisted on another, carrying Michigan to a 5-2 victory over in state foe, Ferris State. Connor has been unstoppable at times this year, seemingly scoring at will. Only a freshman, Connor has carried the No. 6 Wolverines throughout the season, up to the point where the Wolverines are now a virtual lock to make the NCAA Tournament. Connor and Michigan have a huge series this weekend when they travel to St. Paul to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a game with huge conference title implications.

3. Tyler Motte (F, Michigan)

Tyler Motte currently leads the NCAA in goals. His production has been unreal, thanks in large part to line mates Kyle Connor and JT Compher. Motte seems to always score when needed most, and is always disappearing before appearing with an empty net. This Chicago Blackhawks draft pick has an incredible mind for the game, which leads him to knowing where the play is going before the puck arrives. That is what allows him to score so many goals.

Honorable Mentions

Andrew Poturalski (F, New Hampshire)- Poturalski has had an outstanding year. He and line mate Tyler Kelleher have done everything this year for New Hampshire. If they had more players like Poturalski, they could have made the NCAA tournament.

JT Compher (F, Michigan)- With his whole line being mentioned throughout the list, it is clear just how good they have been. Compher leads the NCAA in assists with 34, constantly setting up Kyle Connor and Tyler Motte.

Austin Ortega (F, UNO)- To say Ortega is a clutch player is a massive understatement. Ortega has eight game winning goals this season, three more than any other player.

 

Zach Green is a sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email zag5035@psu.edu.