Hobey Baker Watch: Week 10

Story posted 3 days ago in Sports, CommRadio by Dylan Price

As week 15 of the NCAA Men’s Hockey season wraps up, it’s time to take a look at some of the top talent to keep an eye on in the race for the most prestigious individual award in collegiate hockey.

Jack LaFontaine was certainly a favorite to win the Hobey Baker award when he went to bed Saturday night. He was undoubtedly the top goalie in the NCAA and after winning the Mike Richter award as the top goalie in hockey last season, he was looking to add the Hobey Baker to his name as well.

Instead, LaFontaine woke up Sunday morning and bolted from the No. 8 Minnesota Gophers officially joined the Carolina Hurricanes, marking the first time a player has done that midseason in 15 years.

Now, the race is more open than before and LaFontaine begins his professional career.

One of the biggest benefactors of LaFontaine leaving, at least in terms of this award, has to be goaltender, Dryden McKay.

McKay now ranks at the top of hockey, statistically. The 24 year-old just posted his 32nd career shutout this weekend and ranks second in all of hockey with an incredible 1.180 goals against average in 27 games this season.

He’s been a huge reason for No. 1 Minnesota State’s success, and likely looks like a strong shot to win both the Mike Richter award and the Hobey Baker.

Harvard defensemen and captain Nick Abruzze just received his third straight ECAC player of the week award. Abruzze piloted the No. 18 ranked Crimson to their third straight win and has three goals and six assists in that span.

The junior has taken strides this season and currently ranks first in the country in points per game with 1.6154 and is quietly putting together a strong campaign for the award.

Western Michigan currently ranks No. 3 in the entire nation and a big source of that is Ethen Frank who currently leads the NCAA in goals per game with .89. The first half of the season was pure domination for Frank, and as he enters the latter half, if Frank can keep up the production he figures to be a fixture in the race.

Lastly, the obligatory Owen Power talk. The first selection in the 2021 NHL draft started the season strong, but he hasn’t scored a point since Nov. 27 and he now places tied for 25th in points per game this season.

Michigan ranks No. 4 in the country and figures to make a deep run. The future Buffalo Sabre could still put a hot streak together and end up back in the mix, but right now he looks to be out of the race.

 

Dylan Price is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email dvp5625@psu.edu.