Hobey Baker: From Past to Present

It's about that time of year again to start really looking into potential Hobey Baker award candidates.

Many players are performing well on a consistent basis that are demanding to be noticed, and this award does a good job at that.  But do keep in mind the Hobey Baker award is not just given to the player that scores the most goals or earns the most points.  Obviously those are taken into consideration but also attributes like composure on and off the ice, leadership skills and the ability to motivate one's team to perform at it's highest level, and an overall successful academic standing.

Michael Mersch - Wisconsin
Photo: WCHA.com

Based on the criteria as well as the top fan-voted players, this is the list I came up with:


Player
Pos
Yr.
Team
Votes
GP
G
A
Pts.
Pts/G
PP
GWG
(+/-)
P. Mins.
Ryan Walters
F
Jr.
Nebraska Omaha
3127
26
15
24
39
1.50
4
1
+20
14
Johnny Gaudreau
F
So.
Boston College
13411
20
12
19
31
1.55
2
6
+15
14
Brett Gensler
F
Jr.
Bentley
1483
23
12
19
31
1.35
2
2
+14
6
Wayne Simpson
F
Sr.
Union
2167
25
12
16
28
1.12
4
4
+12
6
Michael Mersch
F
Jr.
Wisconsin
1854
24
15
6
21
0.88
5
1
+8
6
Drew Leblanc
F
Sr.
St. Cloud State
2480
26
7
28
35
1.35
1
2
+13
8
Kyle Flanagan
F
Sr.
St. Lawrence
1393
23
12
21
33
1.43
4
2
+1
16
Kevin Goumas
F
Jr.
New Hampshire
149
23
10
20
30
1.30
2
2
+16
22
Mike Seidel
F
Sr.
Minnesota Duluth
3324
24
12
11
23
0.96
6
3
-1
12
Corban Knight
F
Sr.
North Dakota
17532
25
12
23
35
1.40
2
2
+12
24
Nick Bjugstad
F
Jr.
Minnesota
1113
26
13
12
25
0.96
5
2
+6
22
Greg Miller
F
Sr.
Cornell
3581
18
7
8
15
0.83
0
2
+9
2
Andy Starczewski
F
Sr.
Army
1742
22
6
13
19
0.86
0
1
+2
6


As you can see, each player has a statistic or two that allow them to stand out over most of the other players.  Ryan Walters for example may only be a junior, but he leads the league in points and has the highest plus/minus rating in all of college hockey.  This generally means his line can find ways to score while still managing to play a strong defense.

Johnny Gaudreau hasn't played as many games as most of the canidates on my list, but he has been able to establish a strong scoring presence, leading the league in points-per-game with the most game winning goals on the list.  Although Gaudreau's performance in the World Junior Championships shouldn't be taken into consideration when the decisions for the award winner is made, it's hard to ignore the fact that he help Team USA bring the gold medal home.

I cannot tell you how much of an emphasis is put on fan voting, but Corban Knight leads in that category by over 400 votes.  The senior has been playing solid hockey with North Dakota since his first game.  As a forward, he is one of the least selfish players i've seen, dumping the puck off to teammates making sure to make the best decision when it comes to helping his team skate off with a victory.

Obviously I don't know each individual personally, but i'm sure if they made the list they can't be awful guys right?  It'll be interesting to see who continues to push not only themselves, but their teams harder as the season continues.

To make a little bit of a comparison, I took the last 10 Hobey Baker Award winners and found their statistics the year they had one.  Again, keep in mind stats are not everything when it comes to this, but here is a tool for comparison.


Year
Player
Pos
Team
GP
G
A
Pts.
Pts/G
2012
Jack Connolly
C
Minnesota Duluth
41
20
40
60
1.46
2011
Andy Miele
LW
Miami Ohio
39
24
47
71
1.82
2010
Blake Geoffrion
C
Wisconsin
40
28
22
50
1.25
2009
Matt Gilroy
D
Boston University
45
8
29
37
0.82
2008
Kevin Porter
C
Michigan
43
33
30
63
1.47
2007
Ryan Duncan
LW
North Dakota
43
20
19
39
0.91
2006
Matt Carle
D
Denver
39
11
42
53
1.36
2005
Marty Sertich
C
Colorado College
42
14
36
50
1.19
2004
Junior Lessard
RW
Minnesota Duluth
45
32
31
63
1.40
2003
Peter Sejna
LW
Colorado College
42
36
46
82
1.95
Averages:
41.9
22.6
34.2
56.8
1.36


Enjoy.

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