The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation on Wednesday announced the three Hobey Hat Trick finalists for the 2014 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, honoring college hockey’s top player. Alphabetically, they are: Greg Carey, senior forward from St. Lawrence; Nic Dowd, senior forward from St. Cloud State; and Johnny Gaudreau, junior forward from Boston College.
The three finalists were selected from the initial list of top-10 candidates by the 27-member selection committee and an additional round of online fan balloting to determine this year’s Hobey Baker winner. Criteria for the award includes displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.
This year’s Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced April 11 from the Loews Hotel Millennium Ballroom in Philadelphia during the Frozen Four. The 34th annual announcement will be televised live locally on Comcast and at nhl.com at 6 p.m. ET, and at the Hobey website, www.hobeybakeraward.com. Here is more on this year’s three finalists:
Greg Carey: A repeat Hobey Baker top-10 finalist, Carey can now include a Hobey hat trick finalist to his resume. Last year, he led the nation in goals and this year he sits second in the nation in assists (39) and first in power-play points (31). Carey has led the Saints in scoring for four consecutive years and repeated as scoring champion in the ECAC. He scored 18 goals and 39 assists for 57 points in 38 games and sits third in the nation in scoring.
For the second consecutive year Carey is first team all-conference in the ECAC and added co-player of the year honors while also being a finalist for student-athlete of the year. He has been an all-academic student all four years majoring in history with a 3.68 grade-point average. Last week, he signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Coyotes. Carey has been a member of the school’s advisory committee on athletics and participates with the Saints Kids Club and helped organize the annual Teddy Bear toss.
Nic Dowd: Renowned as a solid two-way player, Dowd was a big part of St. Cloud State clinching the first NCHC regular-season title. Dowd, captain of the Huskies, follows in the footsteps of ex-teammate Drew LeBlanc, last year’s Hobey Baker Award winner. Dowd was honored with three league awards: first team all-conference, defensive forward of the year and scholar-athlete of the year. He tied for the team lead in points, scoring 22 goals and 18 assists for 39 points in 38 games and is tied for seventh in the nation in goals.
Effective on the man-advantage, Dowd bagged 10 power-play goals, tying him for fifth in the nation, and chipped in with five game-winning goals, including the overtime winner in the Huskies' West Regional semifinal. Dowd just signed with the team that drafted him, the Los Angeles Kings (seventh round). Dowd is a bio-medicine major carrying a 3.61 GPA. He has worked with the school’s Student Advisory Council and assists with new student move-ins, organized the Locks of Love campaign last year with his teammates and has helped out with the local Humane Society.
Johnny Gaudreau: A Hobey hat trick finalist for the second consecutive year, Gaudreau’s leading the nation in scoring, averaging almost two points per game with 77 points -- the most of any Division I player in 11 years. The Hockey East scoring champion, Gaudreau was named the conference player of the year and first-team all-conference and has recorded points in all but two games this year including tying a Hockey East record with a 31-game point streak (Paul Kariya-Maine).
Gaudreau has 35 goals and 42 assists for 77 points in 39 games, ranking first in the nation in points, goals and assists. He also tops the nation in plus-minus with a +41. A communications major and Calgary draft pick (fourth round), he was awarded the Walter Brown Award as the best American-born player in New England. At the Northeast Regional, he scored three goals and three assists in the Eagles' 6-2 win againnst Denver, and added two more assists on the first two goals of the 4-3 win against Massachusetts-Lowell in the regional final. He spends some time visiting elementary schools and is a mentor for a special-needs team.