Hobey Baker Award Announces Top Ten Finalists
The Hobey Baker Award is very pleased to announce the top ten candidates for the 2012 award honoring college hockey’s top player. Alphabetically, they are: Spencer Abbott, Maine, Jack Connolly, Minnesota-Duluth, Brian Dumoulin, Boston College, Troy Grosenick, Union, Shawn Hunwick, Michigan, Tim Kirby, Air Force, Torey Krug, Michigan State, Justin Schultz, Wisconsin, Austin Smith, Colgate and Reilly Smith, Miami.
The ten finalists were selected by voting from all 58 Division I college hockey head coaches and by online fan balloting at www.hobeybakeraward.com. Next, the 23-member Selection Committee and an additional round of fan balloting (at www.hobeybakeraward.com from March 16-25) will determine this year’s Hobey Baker winner. Criteria for the award include: displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.
The Hobey Hat Trick of three finalists will be announced on March 29, 2012 and the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 6, 2012 from MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, FL during the NCAA Frozen Four. A video feed of the award announcement can be watched live at Channelside in Tampa or live on the Hobey Baker website. Following, in alphabetical order, is a look at each finalist.
Spencer Abbott – University of Maine, Senior, Forward, Hamilton, Ontario
Heading into conference tournaments, Abbott leads the nation in scoring with 59 points in 37 games on 20 goals and 39 assists. A finalist for several league awards including Hockey East Player of the Year, he has twice been player of the month. Maine has had one of the top power plays in the nation and Abbott is a key component.
* Led Hockey East in conference points – 3 Black Bears in top 3 conference scoring
* Family Relations major – Dean’s List three times
* Active in team community service activities – has 17 multiple point games
Jack Connolly – University of Minnesota-Duluth, Senior, Forward, Duluth, Minnesota
A repeat finalist from the defending national champions, Connelly is right behind Abbott in the national scoring race with 56 points. A two-time All American, the hometown hero had an encore performance winning the WCHA scoring title, named a First Team all-star for the third
straight year and topping it off as Player of the Year. Connolly has been held pointless for more than one game in a row only twice in his four year career.
* Has played 161 consecutive games – never missed a college game - 8 power play goals
* Had team record 22-game point streak – 18 goals, 38 assists for 56 points in 38 games
* Active community volunteer – Communications major with 3.3 GPA
Brian Dumoulin – Boston College, Junior, Defense, Biddeford, Maine
The smart, play-making D-man from the nation’s number one ranked team is up for two league awards he won last season: Best Defensive Defenseman and First Team all-league. Dumoulin’s keen vision of the ice and smart choices has led to 6 goals and 20 assists in 38 games; but his plus-20 ranks number one on the team and is a key for BC’s success. He’s a plus-83 in 117 career games.
* Carolina draft pick (2nd round) – bronze medal at World Junior last year; All American
* Management major – works with elementary school programs and hospital visits
* Led all Hockey East defensemen in conference scoring
Troy Grosenick – Union College, Sophomore, Goalie, Brookfield, Wisconsin
The first Hobey candidate from Union, helped guide them to a first place finish in the ECAC this season. Grosenick has played 28 of the Dutchman’s 36 games to date and has allowed two goals or less in 22 of those games. He is third in the nation in goals against average at 1.66 and is third in save percentage at .936. A finalist for ECAC Goalie of the Year, Union had the best team GAA in the circuit.
* Top goalie in ECAC this past season – overall record of 16-5-3, has 5 shutouts
* Social Sciences major with 3.8 GPA and two years on Dean’s List
* Volunteers as a tutor and as a note-taker for disabled students
Shawn Hunwick – University of Michigan, Senior, Goalie, Sterling Heights, Michigan
His size at five foot seven, he may be smallish in size but has played huge in helping the Wolverines to a tie for second in the conference. His solid positioning and quick reflexes has helped him to all-time career records for goals against average and save percentage at Michigan. Named Second Team CCHA, his 23 wins are tied for second in the nation.
* Overall record is 23-10-3; goals against average of 1.96 is seventh in the nation; save percentage of .934 is fourth in the nation – has 5 shutouts; sixth in nation in minutes
* History major – Active in Big Brothers; made trip to Ecuador to help impoverished build a school
Tim Kirby – Air Force Academy, Senior, Defense, Austin, Minnesota
Atlantic Hockey’s lone representative is a dandy: First Team all-star, Best Defenseman and the AHA Player of the Year. The smart, play-making, top scoring defenseman of the AHA this season, Kirby has scored a career high 12 goals and 25 points in 33 games. A durable, minute crunching skater, has never missed a game playing in 149 straight entering the AHA tournament.
* Has 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points in 33 games – 6 power play goals; 3 winners
* Social Sciences major – is his squadron’s safety officer; is on the commandant’s list for military excellence – volunteers with MS and Juvenile Diabetes fund raising walks
Torey Krug – Michigan State University, Junior, Defense, Livonia, Michigan
The small, fluid skating defenseman is up for multiple CCHA league awards including player of the year, first team all-league and best offensive defenseman. Krug has a unique distinction to be one of only five defenseman in college history who has led their league in points, he tied for first with 29 points in 28 games. He averages 29 minutes a game and is a key on specialty units.
* Has 12 goals and 21 assists for 33 points in 37 games – 7 power play goals
* Third in the nation in points by a defenseman – second year team captain
* Is a Political Science/Pre-Law major – founder of a student/athlete food drive
Justin Schultz – University of Wisconsin, Junior, Defense, West Kelowna, British Columbia
A Hobey finalist for the second straight season, Schultz leads the nation in defenseman scoring bagging 44 points in 37 games. His dominating play earned him First Team WCHA and Defensive Player of the Year honors, both for the second year in a row. Posting back-to-back 40-point seasons, Schultz has scored 7 power play goals and is a key on special teams.
* posted 16 goals and 28 assists for 44 points in 37 games – 12 multiple point games
* Anaheim draft pick (2nd round) – first Badger defenseman ever to lead team in goals
* Life Sciences Communications major – volunteers with visits to UW Children’s Hospital
Austin Smith – Colgate University, Senior, Forward, Dallas, Texas
Looking for goals, Smith struck for 30 tallies faster than any college hockey player in the last 12 years. The nation’s leading goal scorer with 36, he has nine more than his closest rival. He’s currently tied for second in the nation in points and is a finalist for Player of the Year in the ECAC after already claiming the conference scoring title. Smith has recorded points in all but three games this year.
* Has 6 short-handed goals, most in the nation – fifth in the nation with 5 game winners
* Dallas draft pick (5th round) – has scored 36 goals, 20 assists for 56 points in 37 games
* Sociology and Anthropology major – helps out with Hamilton Food Cupboard
Reilly Smith – Miami University, Junior, Forward, Mimico, Ontario
The RedHawks scoring whiz picked up five points in two playoff games last week supporting his candidacy for CCHA Player of the Year. Already a First Team all-star for the second straight year, he was the CCHA Player of the Month twice this season. A timely goal scorer, Smith is second in the nation in goals with 27 and his eight game winners are most in the country.
* Dallas draft pick (3rd round) – has scored 27 goals, 16 assists for 43 points in 36 games
* 9 power play goals tied for sixth in nation – led CCHA in goals for second straight year
* Sport Studies major – has been very active in team community service activities
* Nominees by conference: CCHA 3, ECAC 2, Hockey East 2, WCHA 2, AHA 1
* By class nominees are: Senior 5, Junior 4, Sophomore 1
* By position nominees are: forwards 4, defensemen 4, goalies 2
* By nationality nominees are: U.S. 7 (Michigan & Minnesota-2 each, Wisconsin, Maine, Texas-1 each), Canada 3 (Ontario-2, British Columbia-1)