Hobey Baker Watch
The Hobey Baker Award nominees have been announced as we head into the final few weeks of the regular season. This year has been a closely contested race thus far, so the last few weeks of the regular season and conference tournaments will be key time for players to separate themselves. Here are the current top candidates, in no particular order:
Cale Makar, D, Massachusetts
UMass’ only first-round NHL Draft selection in program history is leading the Minutemen to a historic season. After losing 20 games last season, UMass is 21-6 (13-4) and is just one win away from setting a school single-season record. Last weekend was also the first time in school history that UMass swept Boston University in a regular-season series.
Makar is tied for fourth in the nation in plus-minus (22) and has tallied nine goals and 22 assists on the season. The Colorado Avalanche prospect’s incredible skating and puck-moving prowess has played a role in why Massachusetts is in contention to win its first national championship.
Nico Sturm, F, Clarkson
For much of his collegiate career Nico Sturm was more of a defensive forward. However, with the departures of Sheldon Rempal and Josh Dickinson in the offseason, Sturm has taken a huge step forward offensively and is now one of the most complete players in college hockey.
Sturm has scored 12 goals and added 22 assists for No.11 Clarkson and is tied for eighth in the nation is plus-minus (19). The Ausberg, Germany native will likely lead the Golden Knights back to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row and hope to avenge their first-round loss last season. With his size and skill, there’s a great chance he will be on an NHL roster next year.
Chase Priskie, D, Quinnipiac
Priskie is tied for first in the nation with nine power-play goals. The 2016 Washington Capitals sixth-round selection has scored 14 goals and racked up 21 assists for No.6 Quinnipiac.
Among defensemen, he leads the nation in goals, goals per game, power-play goals, power-play points, game-winning goals shots and shots on goal per game. He is also second with 35 points and third with 1.25 points per game.
There is a strong case to be made that Priskie has been the top defenseman in college hockey this season, and he can further his chances at the Hobey Baker if he can lead Quinnipiac to a strong finish heading into the NCAA Tournament.
Patrick Newell, F, St. Cloud State
Newell has been the best player on the top team in college hockey this season. The standout forward ranks fourth in the nation in plus-minus (22) and has registered 32 points behind 15 goals and 17 assists.
He has also been excellent in the face-off circle, winning 67 percent of his tries. Newell has a great opportunity to lead St. Cloud State to its first national championship.
Will Desautelle is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Junior / Broadcast Journalism and Political Science