Hobey Baker Watch: Week 4
As conference play heats up, here are a few names to keep an eye out for in terms of college hockey's most prestigious award.
Wade Allison, F, Western Michigan
Before going to Western Michigan, Allison was drafted 52nd overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2016 NHL Draft. There were high hopes for him going into his freshman year at Western Michigan and he lived up to them. In 2016-17, Allison scored 12 goals and finished the season with 29 points.
Allison has started fast this season and is on pace to shatter his point total from a year ago. Nine games into his sophomore season, Allison has 14 points, with six goals and eight assists. He started strong with three points on opening night against Ferris State. His success continued last weekend when Western Michigan swept the defending champion Denver Pioneers on the shoulders of Allison’s five points. In the game last Saturday, he posted his first career collegiate hat trick en route to taking home NCAA hockey’s first star of the week.
In his nine games this season, Allison has scored multiple points five times and has been held scoreless just twice. He has carried the Broncos up the rankings to No. 18, their best ranking in program history. Allison will continue to produce for Western Michigan and after beating Denver, the sky is the limit for Allison and the Broncos.
Dylan Sikura, F, Northeastern
Sikura had a stellar junior season in which his 57 points were good enough for sixth in the nation. The 2014 draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks is a true playmaker. Of his 57 points, 36 were assists, tying him for the second most assists in the nation last season. He was recently named to Team Canada’s roster for the upcoming pre-Olympic tournament. With NHL players being held out of the Olympics, a good performance at the tournament can land Sikura a spot on Team Canada’s Olympic roster.
In his final season at Northeastern, Sikura has started strong. In his first series of the season against Sacred Heart, Sikura had five points with two goals and three assists. Against Quinnipiac on October 20 and 21, Sikura notched three goals and two assists. A great performance like that against one of the top-ranked teams in the nation solidifies his place in the Hobey Baker conversation.
Sikura has been held scoreless in two of his eight games, but racked up multiple points in the other six contests for Northeastern. His 104 career points are second best among active collegiate hockey players and that number will keep going up as the year goes on. His role on the power play will provide him with even more chances to put up points and he will keep creating offense for the 13th-ranked Huskies. Keep an eye on Sikura as the season rolls on and expect him to be in the Hobey Baker race until the end.
Sheldon Rempal, F, Clarkson
Rempal finished last season atop the ECAC in freshman scoring after posting 23 points in 39 games. Rempal likes to fire the puck at the net. He has sent 42 pucks on opposing netminders in 10 games this season. Of those 42 shots, seven found the back of the net. Rempal’s shoot first mentality will help him to continue scoring goals at a high pace for Clarkson.
To start his sophomore season, Rempal has produced in a big way for the Golden Knights. He has a team-leading 13 points on the season, including a hat trick in a 6-0 rout of RPI last Friday, a game in which he recorded a career high four points. Rempal must continue to score for Clarkson, which is now the No. 11 team in the nation. The team started the season unranked, racing up the rankings in the early going, and Rempal has led the way.
Rempal’s size is worrisome however. At 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, Rempal is one of the smallest players on the ice in just about every game. There are plenty of players at his height, but many of them are significantly heavier than Rempal.
As such a scrawny player, Rempal is definitely at risk of injury. Another thing to look for is how he plays against bigger, shut-down defenseman. Rempal has excelled so far this season, but it remains to be seen if he will stay healthy and produce at a consistent rate for the remainder of the year.
Josh Starr is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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