2014 Hobey Baker Finalists: All You Need to Know
By Pat White (@patwhite9126)
Photo/Minnesota Hockey Mag
The 2014 Frozen Four is set with Boston College, Union, Minnesota and North Dakota all making the trip to Philadelphia. No. 2 Boston College will face No. 3 Union on April 10 at 5 p.m. No. 1 Minnesota will face off against North Dakota at 8 p.m.
Another trophy that is up for grabs is the Hobey Baker Award, which is given to the top player in college hockey. The award is not strictly based on statistics, but also incorporates character on and off the ice, academic achievements and sportsmanship.
The voting process begins with every Division I coach nominating three players from their respective leagues and three players nationally. Fans also have a say in the voting process in nominating the top-10 finalists. From those top 10 nominees, the top three finalists are voted upon by the fans known as the “Hobey Hat Trick.” Then, the Hobey Baker Memorial Selection Committee composed of college hockey writers, NHL scouts, and college hockey coaches and officials select the winner. Fans also cast their vote as well.
The votes were tabulated and the the 2014 Hobey Baker Memorial Award Hat Trick Finalists were announced today. The winner will be announced on Friday, April 11 at the Loews Hotel Millennium Ballroom in Philadelphia. Here are the 2014 Hobey Baker Finalists.
(Photo credit: Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe)
F Johnny Gaudreau, Boston College
39 GP, 35 goals, 42 assists, 77 points. 1.97 points per game, 7 game-winning goals.
Gaudreau is the best player, playing on the most dominant line for the best offensive team in the country. If he doesn’t take home the Hobey Baker Award, I would be surprised.
“Johnny Hockey” elevates his play when the lights are the brightest. He registered his first career hat-trick in Boston College’s 6-2 opening round win over Denver, and added two assists in yesterday’s 4-3 victory over UMass Lowell. Gaudreau’s 77 points are the most since 2010-11 when Andy Miele registered 71 points for Miami.
Numbers aside, Gaudreau is flat-out the most offensively gifted player in the country. Gaudreau is another Eagle that is diminutive in stature, but possesses immense skill, speed and heart. His tantalizing speed and puck-handling are second to none in college hockey. When Gaudreau has space, he is the most dangerous player with the puck, especially in transition. He is tied for the lead this season with seven game-winning goals, upping his career total to 18.
Twenty-one Eagles have been finalists for the Hobey Baker Award in Boston College’s prestigious history. Yet, only two Eagles have ever won the award; David Emma in 1991 and Mike Motteau in 2000. Gaudreau was a finalist for the award last season, but was beaten out by St. Cloud State’s Drew LeBlanc. Gaudreau does service work with local elementary school and a special needs team.
The Carneys Point, NJ native returns home to Philadelphia where his hockey career began. Gaudreau played at Gloucester Catholic and Team Comcast before moving on to Dubuque of the USHL. It is conceivable that he could capture his second National Championship and his first Hobey Baker Award in Philadelphia on April 12.
St. Cloud State Photo
F Nic Dowd, St. Cloud State
38 GP, 22 goals, 18 assists, 40 points. 5 game-winning goals, 10 power play goals, 2 shorthanded goals.
Nic Dowd has the intangible qualities that every captain possesses. He is a heart and soul player who plays in all situations for St. Cloud State. Dowd was a major reason for the Huskies success, scoring goals in five consecutive games to end the season before SCSU’s elimination loss to Minnesota.
Dowd is the third St. Cloud State player to be a top-3 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. Mark Hartigan was a finalist in 2002 and Drew LeBlanc won the award last year being the only winner in Huskies history. His two-way style earned him three league awards in the NCHC. He earned a First Team All-NCHC honor, Defensive Forward of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Dowd set a St. Cloud State record with five game-winning goals, including a big overtime goal to defeat Colgate in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Aside from ranking second on the team and tied for 30th in the country in scoring, it is Dowd’s character that earned him a nomination. Last season, Dowd helped organize the “Locks for Love” program with six of his teammates. He is active in the community by helping new students move-in and also assists with the local Humane Society.
Dowd signed an entry-level contract with the Los Angeles Kings yesterday, the team who drafted him in the 7th-round in the 2009 NHL Draft. Dowd may not have the stats of Gaudreau, but what he lacks in stats, he more than makes up for with heart, service and leadership. I would not be surprised if St. Cloud State boasts back-to-back Hobey Baker winners.
Tara Freeman/St. Lawrence University
F Greg Carey, St. Lawrence
38 GP, 18 goals, 39 assists, 57 points, six power play goals, 31 power play points.
Carey, along with brother Matt, were the two top scorers for St. Lawrence this season. Carey led the nation with 31 power play points and was critical in the Saints’ top-ranked power play unit. He finished third in the nation with 57 points and second nationally in assists with 39 helpers. For the second straight season, he was voted First Team All-ECAC and also took home co-Player of the Year.
St. Lawrence may not have made the NCAA Tournament, but that does not take away from Carey’s stellar season. He is a four-year All-Academics player and also serves on the school’s athletic advisory committee. Carey’s on-ice statistics, but his 3.68 GPA is probably his most important stat. Carey helped organize the team’s Teddy Bear Toss as well as working with the Saints Kids Club.
Carey signed a one-year contract with the Phoenix Coyotes. His brother, Matt, signed with the Chicago Blackhawks.
No matter which player takes home the Hobey Baker Award on April 11, the college hockey community can be proud that its student-athletes are making a difference both on and off the ice.