Hobey Baker Watch List: Week 17

Story posted March 2, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by Zach Green

Only a few teams are still playing in the regular season as many conferences are beginning their postseason tournaments this weekend. The race for the Hobey Baker continues as the top players in college hockey look to establish themselves as the best. The postseason is the best time for players to cement their place as the top as the one thing they have yet to show is how well they play under pressure. With that, ComRadio will now breakdown the race for college hockey’s most coveted individual award.

1. Kyle Connor (F, Michigan)

At this point every argument has been made as to why Michigan’s star forward cannot win the award. His stats are now too good for the award to go to anyone else. Last Year’s Hobey Baker winner Jack Eichel, had 71 points. Connor is on pace to match, or even surpass that. His points per game is .23 better than anybody else, which at this stage in the season is monumental. His 26 goals and 28 assists show that he does everything on the ice, and with a plus minus rating of plus 35, It shows just how much time his line is able to spend in the attacking zone. Kyle Connor was highly touted entering college hockey, but nobody could have predicted an outburst like this.

2. Jimmy Vesey (F, Harvard)

Jimmy Vesey has had an outstanding year, highlighted by the fact that he has carried Harvard on his back all year long. If he was scoring, that meant that Harvard was winning. He has not dropped due to his own form, it’s just that Kyle Connor has been that good. Vesey can climb back into the top spot with strong play in the playoffs. Vesey may have other things on his mind however. The Nashville Predators, who own his rights, are desperate to sign him at this point. If he doesn’t sign a contract following the season by Aug. 15, he will become a free agent. And with his dad being a scout for the Leafs, that would be a likely landing point. The pressure from Nashville may be getting to him, resulting in a drop of form recently.

3. Tyler Motte (F, Michigan)

Although the Hobey Baker appears to be a two-man race at this point, Tyler Motte from Michigan deserves his place in the spotlight as well. Motte leads the NCAA in goals with 29 on the year. The big thing holding him back from winning the award is the play of his linemates, Kyle Connor and JT Compher. Without Connor’s 28 assists and Compher’s 36, Motte would not have put up anywhere near the numbers he has. One thing to watch is whether or not Motte cashes in on his big year and signs a contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, who hold his rights.

Honorable Mentions

Andrew Poturalski (F, New Hampshire)

Poturalski has climbed up to second on the points chart with 50. His year will ultimately be culminated by being named a finalist for the Hobey Baker.

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 36, constantly setting up Kyle Connor and Tyler Motte.

Zac Lynch (F, Robert Morris)

The senior forward is currently sitting at third on the scoring list. He has led RMU with Greg Gibson all year long as they look to secure the AHA’s auto bid to the NCAA Tournament.

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