The top 10 candidates for the 2012 Hobey Baker Award, honoring college hockey’s top player, were announced Thursday.
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
• Reilly Smith, Miami
The 10 finalists were selected by voting from all 58 Division I head coaches and by online fan balloting. Next, the 23-member selection committee and an additional round of fan balloting will determine this year’s Hobey Baker winner.
Criteria for the award include: outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.
The Hobey Hat Trick (three finalists) will be announced on March 29 and the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 6 at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa during the NCAA Frozen Four. Following, in alphabetical order, is a look at each finalist:
Spencer Abbott, Maine
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.
Abbott has 17 multiple point games. He’s active in team community service activities and he’s made the Dean’s List three times.
Jack Connolly, Minnesota-Duluth
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, this hometown hero had an encore performance winning the WCHA scoring title and was named a first team all-star for the third consecutive year and and Player of the Year. Connolly has been held pointless two or more consecutive games only twice in his four-year career.
Connolly has never missed a college game — a streak of 161 consecutive games. He’s scored eight power-play goals and also has a 22-game point streak. Connolly has scored 18 goals and 38 assists in 38 games. He’s an active community volunteer and is a communcations major with a 3.3 GPA.
Brian Dumoulin, Boston College
This smart playmaker from the nation’s top-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 six goals and 20 assists in 38 games; but his plus-20 ranks No. 1 on the team. He’s a plus-83 in 117 career games. Dumoulin was a second-round draft pick for the Carolina Panthers. He led all of Hockey East defensemen in conference scoring. Dumoulin’s also busy off the ice. He’s a management major who spends his spare time working with elementary school programs and making hospital visits.
Troy Grosenick, Union
The first Hobey candidate from Union, Grosenick helped his team to a first-place finish in the ECAC this season. He has played in 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. Grosenick was the top goalie in the ECAC this season, with an overall record of 16-5-3 with five shutouts.
He’s a social sciences major with a 3.8 GPA and two years on Dean’s List. Grosenick also volunteers as a tutor and note-taker for disabled students.
Shawn Hunwick, Michigan
At 5-7, Hunwick may be smallish in size but he has been huge in helping the Wolverines to a tie for second in the conference. His solid positioning and quick reflexes have 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. His overall record is 23-10-3 with a goals against average of 1.96 and a save percentage of .934 with five shutouts.
Hunwick is a history major, active in Big Brothers and recently made trip to Ecuador to help build a school.
Tim Kirby, Air Force
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, he has never missed a game playing in 149 straight entering the AHA tournament. He has six power-play goals this season and three game-winning goals.
Kirby, a social sciences major, is his squadron’s safety officer, is on the commandant’s list for military excellence, volunteers with multiple sclerosis and Juvenile Diabetes fund-raising walks.
Torey Krug, Michigan State
The 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 his league in points. He tied for first with 29 points in 28 games. Krug averages 29 minutes a game and is a key on specialty units. He has 12 goals and 21 assists for 33 points in 37 games including seven power-play goals.
Krug is a political science/pre-law major and the founder of a student/athlete food drive
Justin Schultz, Wisconsin
A Hobey finalist for the second consecutive season, Schultz leads the nation’s defenseman in 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. He was a second-round pick for Anaheim and the first Badger defenseman to lead team in goals.
He’s a life sciences communications major who volunteers with visits to UW Children’s Hospital
Austin Smith, Colgate
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. He has six short-handed goals, the most in the nation. He’s also fifth in the nation with five game-winners. Smith was a fifth-round draft pick for Dallas.
He’s a sociology and anthropology major and he helps out with Hamilton Food Cupboard.
Reilly Smith, Miami (Ohio)
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 consecutive 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. He was a third-round draft pick for Dallas. He had nine power-play goals (sixth in the nation) and Smith led CCHA in goals for the second year in a row.
He’s a sport studies major and he’s been very active in team community-service activities.