Hobey Baker Award Watch
With just under two-thirds of the NCAA Hockey season completed, numerous players have separated themselves from the pack to become clear contenders for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the country’s top player. Some preseason favorites such as Notre Dame goaltender Cale Morris, who won the Mike Richter Award last season in his first year as a starter, have fallen off this season, while other favorites, such as Princeton’s Ryan Kuffner, Harvard’s Adam Fox and Ohio State’s Mason Jobst, have put up impressive numbers.
In addition to the expected candidates, many players have burst on to the scene as stars this year. Penn State sophomore Evan Barratt has emerged as the Nittany Lions top offensive threat, supported by his linemate and fellow Hobey Baker candidate, Alex Limoges.
The Big Ten has no shortage of depth on the list of Hobey nominees, with 13 total candidates and each of the seven teams represented. Ohio State goalie Tommy Nappier, who is second in the country in save percentage, could very well carry his team to Buffalo for the Frozen Four, as could likely NHL top-10 draft pick Quinn Hughes of Michigan or prized New York Rangers prospect K’Andre Miller of Wisconsin.
On the other side of the country, Phoenix native Johnny Walker has carried NCAA Hockey’s newest team, Arizona State, into the top 10 in the rankings. Walker leads the country with an average of 0.76 goals per game, while the Sun Devils goalie, Joey Daccord, has also been named a Hobey Baker nominee and leads the country in both wins and shutouts.
The stellar goaltending across college hockey has not just been found in Arizona and the Big Ten, but in New England as well. Boston College’s Joseph Woll, UMass-Lowell’s Christoffer Hernberg and Northeastern’s Cayden Primeau have backstopped their teams to three of the top four spots in the Hockey East standings, and have each been nominated for the Hobey.
Unlike some previous years, there is not a consensus across the country of a likely winner or small group of potential winners. Many of the 83 nominees are true, legitimate contenders, and only the final two months of the season will reveal who will end up winning the most prestigious individual award in college hockey.
Jeremy Schooler is a sophomore studying broadcast journalism and business. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.