Hobey Baker Watch: The List Reduces to 10

Story posted March 19, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Christopher Hess

Voting for the Hobey Baker Award has picked up speed in recent weeks, and that massive list has been narrowed down significantly.

Ten of the country’s best and brightest hockey players have the chance to take home the Heisman Trophy of college hockey, and it’s safe to say that this is a star-studded list.

Now, let’s take a look at the finalists in no particular order.

Cole Caufield, F, Wisconsin

The 2019 first-round selection of the Montreal Canadiens has been putting up video-game numbers all season long and took home Big Ten Player of the Year honors unanimously.

Caufield, the country’s leading scorer with 49 points, has been the best player for the Badgers and has 28 goals in 30 games played, which is good for .933 goals per contest.

Defenses beware. Simple as that.

Odeen Tufto, F, Quinnipiac

Dynamic, prolific, selfless and electric are just some of the adjectives to describe this Quinnipiac Bobcats star.

Tufto has 44 points this season, and 38 of them are assists. His ability to make plays and create opportunities for his teammates puts him in an elite class, although the ECAC had such a small schedule this year.

Shane Pinto, F, North Dakota

The Long Island native and Ottawa Senators prospect has built up quite the résumé in Grand Forks, and it’s gotten even bigger this season.

Pinto became the NCHC’s first-ever unanimous pick for Player of the Year and was also the conference’s Forward of the Year, Defensive Forward of the Year and a first-team All-Conference selection.

Pinto scored 15 goals, racking up 15 assists in the process. He will look to lead one of the most loaded teams in the nation to a national championship.

Dylan Holloway, F, Wisconsin

Another Wisconsin first-round pick has made the cut to 10, and Holloway, a 2020 choice of the Edmonton Oilers, is as good a choice as any.

Thirty-four points scored puts him tied for No. 4 in scoring nationally alongside Jordan Kawaguchi and Brandon Kruse—and he’s not done yet.

The first-team All-Big Ten selection will look to make an even bigger impact once the NCAA Tournament begins.

Matt Boldy, F, Boston College

Boldy, a 2019 first-round pick of the Minnesota Wild, was the leading scorer for one the most recognizable and successful programs in the nation this year.

He notched 30 points in 21 games played and is a tough player to defend, especially with how talented he is with the puck in his possession.

David Farrance, F, Boston University

Farrance played in just 10 of BU’s 15 games, but he was still able to make a significant impact in limited action.

The Nashville Predators prospect has five goals and 11 assists, which amounts to 16 points and 1.6 points per game. Although it’s a small sample size, it’s clear that Farrance has big-play capabilities and can break a game open at any time.

Dryden McKay, G, Minnesota State

The nation’s leader in goals-against average and shutouts cracks the list as one of four goaltenders to be considered.

McKay has been stellar with a record of 19-2, a save percentage of .937, a goals-against average of 1.25 and just 27 goals allowed to go with nine shutouts.

He is four shutouts shy from breaking former Michigan State and possible future NHL Hall of Famer Ryan Miller’s career record of 26.

McKay is also a finalist for the Richter Award, given to the country’s best netminder.

Jack LaFontaine, G, Minnesota

Keeping it in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Carolina Hurricanes prospect Jack LaFontaine has been solid and steady for the Golden Gophers, whose season was capped off with a Big Ten tournament championship.

LaFontaine was named first-team All-Big Ten, Goaltender of the Year, and the Big Ten tournament’s most outstanding player. He leads the nation in wins with 21.

LaFontaine also holds a goals-against average of 1.74 to go along with a .936 save percentage. Unsurprisingly, he is also on the Richter Award list.

Spencer Knight, G, Boston College

The gold-medal winning goalie for the USA World Junior team made the cut to 10, and rightfully so.

Knight, a first-round choice of the Florida Panthers in 2019, can steal the show at virtually any minute, and the stat-line he possesses tells the story.

In 20 games, Knight has a record of 16-3-1, a 2.13 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage in addition to being the Hockey East Player of the Year.

Keith Petruzzelli, G, Quinnipiac

The final goalie and player on this list has been underrated for the past two seasons. The Detroit Red Wings picked a hidden gem in the third round in 2017 with Petruzzelli.

A 17-6-4 record to go along with a 1.78 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage has given the Bobcats a legitimate chance to compete for a national championship.

If Petruzzelli and company can win the ECAC tournament and make some noise in the big dance, this Quinnipiac team could be a sleeper to win it all.

 

Christopher Hess is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email christopherhess22gmail.com.