March is here, therefore it is time to announce the ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the best player in College Hockey. Before I list the ten finalists, I think it is important to clarify what it means to be the best player in all of college hockey, and how Hobey Baker’s legacy stands today.
Today, Hobey Baker, is synonymous with the award sharing his name. However, not many fans know much about him. It is easy to just assume Hobey Baker’s skill at the game is why the award is named after him. It is basically an “MVP Award” for college hockey. In many ways that is true. However, Hobey Baker is also one of the most tremendous athletes in American history. Hobey Baker is one of the United States’ first great hockey players. Playing at the legendary St. Paul’s School in Concord New Hampshire, Baker represented the team with poise and class. Hobey Baker’s game was speed, endurance, and stickhandling. These traits led him to Princeton.
Baker’s fame on campus matches was that of Jack Eichel at Boston University. Throughout all this, Hobey Baker never let the fame go to his head. Not to mention being named the, “King of Hockey.” He stayed true to himself as a humble gentlemen. His fame and gentlemanly persona made him a target by opposing teams. Many players, Wayne Gretzky especially, faced similar obstacles. Nonetheless, Hobey Baker always went to opposing locker rooms to shake hands with other players.
There is not much controversy regarding this season’s Hobey Baker Award Finalists. In alphabetical order the finalists are, Henrik Borgström (Denver), Ryan Donato (Harvard), Matthew Galajda (Cornell), Adam Gaudette (Northeastern), Dylan McLaughlin (Canisius), Cale Morris (Notre Dame), Colton Point (Colgate), Jimmy Schuldt (St. Cloud State), Dylan Sikura (Northeastern) and CJ Suess (Minnesota State).
The way the voting process takes place is the 60 head coaches of Division 1 teams vote, as well as online voting. This is the beginning of the voting process. Now, the member selection committee and more online voting ends the process. The winner is announced during the Frozen Four, on April 6th. Last season, the honor went to Will Butcher of Denver, currently part of the New Jersey Devils organization.
It is hard to pick a winner of such a prestigious award. Most Hobey Baker Award winners go on to great success. Not just in the NHL, but throughout the entire hockey world. These winners also go on to great financial success, just look at Johnny Gaudreau. In my mind, I believe this award should belong to Adam Gaudette. Although Dylan Sikura contributes exceptionally to the Huskies success this season. Gaudette is the face of the team. A new Beanpot legend, if Gaudette adds the Hobey Baker Award to his trophy shelf his future knows no bounds. Even if he does not win the prestigious Hobey Baker Award, his future is bright. But this could mean so much for his career with the Canucks.
Follow Matt McGurn on Twitter: @MickGurn
Cover Image courtesy of WCHA.com.