Thursday’s announcement of the 10 Hobey Baker Memorial Award candidates was headlined by Boston College’s Brian Gionta, the sixth three-time finalist in award history, as well as repeat finalists Jeff Panzer of North Dakota, Ty Conklin of New Hampshire and Jeff Hamilton of Yale.
The finalists were determined by a ballot of all 60 Division I college hockey coaches and fan voting, and include three candidates from the WCHA, three from the ECAC, two from Hockey East and two from the CCHA. Six forwards, two goalies and two defensemen make up a list that includes eight Americans and two Canadians.
The winner, selected by a committee of 24 members and a fan vote at www.voteforhobey.com, will be announced in Albany, N.Y., on Friday, April 6 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time on the off day at the NCAA Frozen Four.
The annual Hobey Baker banquet will then take place on Friday, April 20, at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel in St. Paul, Minn..
The list of finalists:
Erik Anderson – St. Lawrence – Senior forward – Plymouth, Michigan
Fresh off an outstanding season with 45 points in 27 games, Anderson is the ECAC Player of the Year and a First-Team All-Star. The second-year Saints captain was a key on the top-ranked power-play unit and averaged two points per game in league play.
Ty Conklin – New Hampshire – Senior goaltender – Anchorage, Alaska
For the second straight year, Conklin is a Hobey finalist, becoming only the third goalie in Hobey history to do so. Conklin rewrote the Hockey East record book setting career and single season marks for goals against average, saves percentage and was named defensive player of the week a record six times. He’s a First Team All Star in Hockey East.
Brian Gionta – Boston College – Senior forward – Rochester, New York
Gionta becomes only the sixth player in Hobey history to be a three-time finalist and was named Hockey East Player of the Year. The BC captain led Hockey East in scoring and became the Eagles all time leading goal scorer. The two-time All American led the nation in goal scoring.
Jeff Hamilton – Yale – Senior forward – Englewood, Ohio
Yale’s all-time leading scorer returns as a Hobey finalist for the second time after missing last season due to injury. A two-time All ECAC and Ivy League First Team star, set a Yale record for winning goals in a season and in a career and is Yale’s first two-time Hobey Baker finalist.
Dany Heatley – Wisconsin – Sophomore forward – Calgary, Alberta
Last year’s WCHA Rookie of the Year had a solid second season racking up 51 points becoming the league’s highest scoring second year player. The All American led the Badgers in goals, points, power-play goals and game-winning goals while becoming one of Wisconsin’s fastest to reach 100 points.
Andy Hilbert – Michigan – Sophomore forward – Howell, Michigan
One of three second-year players to be a Hobey candidate, Hilbert led Michigan in scoring and topped all sophomore players in the nation with 60 points. The slick centerman has been a three-time member of the U.S. World Junior Team.
Kent Huskins – Clarkson – Senior defenseman – Almonte, Ontario
The Clarkson co-captain excelled at both ends of the ice, being named the ECAC Best Defensive Defenseman while leading all defenseman in the league with 34 points in 35 games. A two-time ECAC First-Team All-Star, he led the team in assists and had nine multi-point games.
Jordan Leopold – Minnesota – Junior defenseman – Golden Valley, Minnesota
Leopold’s on-ice presence was a major factor in Minnesota having the top power play in the country and the WCHA’s second-best penalty-kill. Named the WCHA’s Defensive Player of the Year, he also topped all league defenders in points with 44 in 39 games.
Ryan Miller – Michigan State – Sophomore goaltender – East Lansing, Michigan
Miller led the nation in four categories with 28 wins, a 1.36 goals against average and nine shutouts while stopping almost 95 percent of shots he faced. In his second season, Miller has set an NCAA record with 17 career shutouts while helping the Spartans to the nation’s number-one ranking. The CCHA Player of the Year is also the cousin of 1990 Hobey winner Kip Miller.
Jeff Panzer – North Dakota – Senior forward – Grand Forks, North Dakota
A candidate for the second straight year, Panzer led the nation with 74 points and 50 assists while pacing the WCHA scoring charts for the second straight year. The WCHA’s Player of the Year has helped the Fighting Sioux to three league titles and last year’s NCAA championship.