The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Committee is pleased to announce the three Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalists for the 2020 award, honoring college hockey’s top player. Alphabetically, they are: Jordan Kawaguchi, a junior forward from the University of North Dakota; Scott Perunovich, a junior defenseman from the University of Minnesota Duluth; and Jeremy Swayman, a junior goaltender from the University of Maine.
The three finalists were selected from the initial list of Top Ten candidates by the 30-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 Saturday, April 11, 2020 live on ESPN’s SportsCenter during the 11pm ET show. This will replace the originally scheduled Friday, April 10 announcement time due to the dramatic changes the coronavirus has created. The 40th annual Hobey Baker Award segment on SportsCenter will also include the announcements of the Hockey Humanitarian Award, the East and West All-American Teams and the Mike Richter Award for the nation’s top college hockey goalie. Alphabetically, here is more on this year’s three Hobey Hat Trick finalists. All statistics are final as the college hockey season was canceled March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jordan Kawaguchi – University of North Dakota – Junior, Forward, Abbotsford, British Columbia
The dynamic play of Jordan Kawaguchi (cow-uh-GOO-chee) helped guide the Fighting Hawks to the NCHC regular season title and the top spot in the national pairwise rankings at the seasons’ cancelation. His terrific hockey sense led him to the number two spot in the national scoring charts collecting 45 points in 33 games. Accolades aplenty followed Kawaguchi as he was named First Team all-conference, Forward of the Year in the NCHC and was a finalist for the circuit’s Player of the Year. Valuable in the clutch, he had 13 game winning points.
- Finished with 15 goals, 30 assists for 45 points in 33 games – sixth in nation in assists
- Was second in the nation with 15 multiple-point games – Marketing major
- Active in a variety of community service efforts – national Player of the Month (Nov.)
Scott Perunovich – University of Minnesota Duluth – Junior, Defense, Hibbing, Minnesota
It has been an incredible run the past three seasons for Scott Perunovich (purr-roo-na-vitch). Coming off back-to-back national titles, the Bulldogs were well positioned for a three-peat led by the NCHC’s Player of the Year. He became the first defenseman to the lead the conference in scoring and was named the Offensive Defenseman of the Year for the third straight season. Piling up 40 points in 34 games, Perunovich was the second highest scoring blue-liner in the nation and finished tenth overall in national scoring.
- Finished with 6 goals, 34 assists for 40 points in 34 games – second in nation in assists
- Two-time All American and three-time First Team all-conference
- Communications major – drafted by St. Louis Blues (2nd round) and recently turned pro
Jeremy Swayman – University of Maine – Junior, Goaltender, Anchorage, Alaska
The busiest goaltender in college hockey this past season was the Black Bears sensational netminder Jeremy Swayman. He faced more shots and made more saves than any other goalie, finishing with the second best save percentage in the nation at .939. A strong skater with exceptional anticipation skills, Swayman was named Hockey East Player of the Year and First Team all-conference. A heavy workload was no problem as he started 33 of 34 Maine games and played all but seven minutes of the season.
- Final record was 18-11-5 – goals against average of 2.07 – save percentage .939
- Posted three shutouts – Boston Bruins draft (4th round) and recently turned pro
- Business management major – volunteers at local schools, hospital visits and youth teams
- Winner of Walter Brown Award given to the top American-born player in New England
For more information on the Hobey Baker Memorial Award or to access the Hobey logo, visit http://www.hobeybaker.com/media. The website has additional bio info, statistics and video of the finalists. Check us out on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TheHobey