Jack Connolly (right) of Minnesota-Duluth won the 2012 Hobey Baker Award, one year after helping the Bulldogs to a national title
The 10 finalists for the 2013 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given to the top player in NCAA Division I men's ice hockey, were announced earlier this month. Candidates are judged on playing ability, character, integrity, scholastic achievement and sportsmanship.
There are eight forwards and two goaltenders among this year's finalists. Four of the Hobey Baker Award finalists hail from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and three from the Eastern College Athletic Conference, respectively. Five of the finalists are seniors, and four of the finalists are natives of Minnesota.
The Hobey Hat Trick, when the field is pared down to the last three finalists, will be revealed on April 3. The 2013 award winner will be announced on April 12 at the NCAA Men’s Division I Frozen Four in Pittsburgh, while the award banquet will be held on May 22 in St. Paul, Minn.
Here's a look at the 10 initial nominees to succeed 2012 award winner Jack Connolly, who also led Minnesota-Duluth to its first-ever NCAA Division I title in 2011.
Carey led the Saints with 28 goals and 23 assists for 51 points this season and is still tied for third in the nation in points even though SLU's season ended in its league playoffs. He also led the nation with 14 power-play goals.
Chubak's Purple Eagles claimed the top regular-season spot in Atlantic Hockey this season. He posted a 23-7-5 record himself along with a 1.91 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage as Niagara advanced to the NCAA Tournament, falling to North Dakota in the opening round by a 2-1 score. He also led all Division I netminders with six shutouts.
Czarnik tallied 14 goals and 24 assists for 38 points as the Red Hawks won the final Central Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season title and advanced to the CCHA semifinals. He then had two assists in a 4-0 win over Minnesota State to open the NCAA Tournament.
Flanagan’s 2012-13 campaign was cut short after his appendix was removed last month, but he still managed 15 goals and 32 assists for 47 points to place him among the nation’s top-10 scorers.
A Calgary Flames draft choice (4th round/2011), Gaudreau led BC with 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points following BC's first-round NCAA Tournament ouster by Union.
He also scored seven goals to lead the U.S. National Junior Team to a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Russia in January, nearly one year after electrifying the NCAA Frozen Four crowd in Tampa with this insurance goal in the title game against Ferris State:
Hartzell paced Quinnipiac to both a No. 1 national ranking and its first-ever Eastern College Athletic Conference regular-season title with a 27-6-5 record, along with a 1.52 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.
He then had 20 saves in the Bobcats first-round NCAA Tournament win over Canisius, 4-3.
Knight was eighth in the nation prior to the NCAAs with 15 goals and 33 assists for a career-high 48 points, before finishing his collegiate career with a goal in a 4-1 loss to Yale in the NCAA West Regional.
He was drafted by the Florida Panthers in 2009 (5th round).
A Montreal Canadiens draftee (2nd round/2008), Kristo is third in the nation with 26 goals and had also added 26 assists to place him third nationally with 52 points. Seven of his goals this season were game-winners, including the gamer in UND's 2-1 win over Niagara to open the NCAA Tournament, the last goal of his college career—but he's also had some off-ice problems this season that could affect his candidacy in the eyes of Hobey voters.
LeBlanc collected 13 goals and a nation-best 37 assists for a career-high 50 points in helping the Huskies to the top of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season standings. SCSU is also one game shy of its first NCAA Frozen Four after walloping Notre Dame, 5-1, on Saturday in a Midwest Regional semifinal.
Walter’s season is long over, since UNO didn't get an NCAA Tournament bid—but he still led the Mavericks with 22 goals and 30 assists for 52 points and still stands second in Division I in total points.