The Hobey Baker Memorial Award announced the three Hobey Hat Trick finalists for the 2015 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, honoring college hockey’s top player. Alphabetically, they are: Jack Eichel, freshman forward from Boston University; Zane McIntyre, junior goalie from the University of North Dakota and Jimmy Vesey, junior forward from Harvard University.
The three finalists were selected from the initial list of Top Ten 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 Friday, April 10, 2015 from Matthews Arena in Boston during the NCAA Frozen Four. Built in 1910 and known as Boston Arena back then, Matthews is the world’s oldest hockey arena and is the only remaining rink where Princeton star Hobey Baker once played. The 35th annual announcement will be televised live regionally on NESN and on the NHL Network at 5 p.m. ET, and at the Hobey website. Here is more on this year’s three finalists:
Jack Eichel -- Boston University, Freshman, Forward, North Chelmsford, Massachusetts
The first freshman Hobey candidate in 12 years, this 18-year old sensation leads the nation in scoring, collecting 67 points in just 38 games. Eichel was the Hockey East scoring champion, Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, First Team Hockey East, a member of the All-Rookie Team and was named Most Valuable Player at the Hockey East playoff tournament. Eichel also leads the nation in assists, power-play points (22) and in plus-minus with a plus-49.
• Has 24 goals, 43 assists for 67 points in 38 games and has had 20 multiple-point games
• Is a General Studies major and mentors a brain cancer youth and helps with Autism Speaks
• Was captain of the U.S. World Junior Team and is considered a top-three NHL draft pick
Zane McIntyre -- University of North Dakota, Junior, Goalie, Thief River Falls, Minnesota
McIntyre has already become UNDs all-time leader in career goals-against-average and save percentage. He was named First Team NCHC and Goalie of the Year and was a finalist for Player of the Year honors as well. He has played in all but one game this season for North Dakota and ranks as the busiest goalie in the nation. He was the catalyst for North Dakota to reach the Frozen Four this year.
• Entering the Frozen Four, he has a record of 29-9-3 with one shutout, a nation-leading 29 wins, a goals-against-average of 2.00 (11th in the nation) and save percentage of .931 (sixth in the nation)
• Boston draft pick (sixth round) -- majoring in psychology and pre-occupational therapy
• Volunteers with elementary school visits; assists Special Olympics and youth hockey
Jimmy Vesey -- Harvard University, Junior, Forward, North Reading, Massachusetts
Harvard’s first Hobey finalist in ten years had a huge season, winning the ECAC scoring title while piling up 58 points. He also leads the nation with 32 goals. Vesey was off to the races early, earning points in each of the first 20 games of the season and produced points in 34 of the 37 games he played in. Saving his best for last, Vesey had 10 goals and 4 assists in 8 playoff games, including three game-winning goals. He was the ECAC Player of the Year and First Team all-conference.
• Had 32 goals, 26 assists for 58 points in 37 games; his 58 points which rank third in the nation
• Won the Walter Brown Award as the top American born player in New England and speaks fluent Mandarin
• Nashville draft pick (third round), government major and assists with Special Olympics
In one of the more interesting Hobey Hat Trick scenarios, Eichel and the Boston University Terriers will test McIntrye and North Dakota in the national semifinal game for the opportunity to advance to the championship match on Saturday, April 11.