With the collegiate hockey season (such as it is this year) entering the home stretch, voting for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award has opened with 50 players nominated for the award. The trophy is given to the top NCAA player in the country and has an impressive line of winners over the past few years. In 2014, Johnny Gaudreau took home the award as a junior for Boston College, followed by Jack Eichel in his only year for Boston University in 2015. Jimmy Vesey, Will Butcher, and Adam Gaudette don’t bring quite the same impact but are still NHL regulars after winning from 2016-18.
2019’s winner was University of Massachusetts defenseman Cale Makar, who has gone on to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie and is now dominating the league with the Colorado Avalanche. Last year the award was given to Scott Perunovich, but his chance to debut late in the season with the St. Louis Blues was taken away. Perunovich currently sits on the Blues’ taxi squad but could find his way into the lineup soon enough.
The award also has several top NHL alumni in its small fraternity, including Neal Broten, Tom Kurvers, Paul Kariya, Chris Drury, Ryan Miller, and Brendan Morrison. With that group behind them, this year’s winner is certainly not someone to take lightly.
The fan vote will be added to the opinions of NCAA head coaches to come up with a 10-man finalist group, which will then have another fan vote and go through a selection committee. The nominees are as follows:
Owen Power – University of Michigan
Grant Cruikshank – Colorado College
Alex Limoges – Pennsylvania State University