Michigan freshman forward Adam Fantilli is the 2023 Hobey Baker Award winner as the top Division I men's college hockey player.
The Wolverines fell to Quinnipiac, 5-2, in the 2023 Men's Frozen Four semifinals. Fantilli scored the second goal for UM with a one-timer on the power play.
He is the third Wolverine to win the Hobey. Kevin Porter did it most recently in 2008, and Brendan Morrison earned the award in 1997. Fantilli is also the third freshman to ever win the award, joining current NHL star and former Boston University standout Jack Eichel (2015) as well as Hockey Hall of Famer and former Maine star Paul Kariya (1993).
Minnesota forwards Logan Cooley and Matthew Knies were the other two finalists.
“To even be nominated and have my name in the same discussion as so many great players is an honor, so thank you,” Fantilli said at the ceremony.
Adam Fantilli is the 2023 Hobey Baker Award winner. 📸 #MFrozenFour @NCAAIceHockey pic.twitter.com/qT1RJUNyQG— Patrick Donnelly (@PatDonn12) April 7, 2023
Fantilli leads the nation in scoring with 65 points and is tied for the lead in goals with 30 on the season. His four game-winning goals are the fourth-most in the nation, too.
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His points total is the highest in college hockey since Michigan's Kyle Connor put up 71 as a freshman in 2015-16, notably finishing as a runner-up for the Hobey. Fantilli's 1.81 points per game stand behind only Johnny Gaudreau (2.00) when he won in 2014, Connor (1.87) in 2016 and Andy Miele (1.82) when he won in 2011.
Jack Eichel was the last freshman to win the award, doing so in 2015. Fantilli's points per game also outpace Eichel's 1.78.
✅ 30 goals— Michigan On BTN (@MichiganOnBTN) April 7, 2023
✅ 35 assists
✅ @B1GHockey tourney champ
✅ Trip to the #MFrozenFour
✅ @HobeyBakerAward winner
Adam Fantilli’s resume speaks for itself. pic.twitter.com/Eq89PMQZWv
Wolverines coach Brandon Naurato deployed Fantilli in all situations, whether on the power play, the penalty kill or at even strength. He also had some disruptions to his season, between a suspension, an illness and the World Junior Championship. UM went 2-3-0 without him in the lineup and 24-9-3 with him.
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One of Fantilli's most impressive stats is that he never went had consecutive games without at least a point, going scoreless in all but three contests this season.
It's yet another accolade for Fantilli, the odds-on second overall pick at this year's NHL Draft. He also won national Rookie of the Year, Big Ten Freshman of the Year, received first-team All-American honors and other accolades. Fantilli will make a franchise extremely happy to select him at the draft in June.