Hobey Hat Trick is Boston University’s Eichel, North Dakota’s McIntyre, Harvard’s Vesey

The 2015 Hobey Hat Trick – Jack Eichel, Zane McIntyre, Jimmy Vesey (photos: Melissa Wade/Bradley K. Olson).

The Hobey Baker Memorial Award is down to three finalists – the Hobey Hat Trick – for the 2015 award in Boston University freshman forward Jack Eichel, North Dakota junior goaltender Zane McIntyre and Harvard junior forward Jimmy Vesey.

The three finalists were selected from the initial list of 10 candidates by the 27-member selection committee and an additional round of online fan balloting.

This year’s Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 10, from the Matthews Arena in Boston during the NCAA Frozen Four.

Eichel, the first freshman Hobey candidate in 12 years, leads the nation in scoring, collecting 67 points in just 38 games. He 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 rating.

He was captain of the 2015 U.S. World Junior team and off the ice, is a general studies major, mentors a brain cancer youth and helps with Autism Speaks. This June, Eichel is expected to be a top pick in the NHL draft.

McIntyre has already become UND’s all-time leader in career GAA 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.

Entering the Frozen Four, McIntyre has a record of 29-9-3 with one shutout – his 29 wins leads the nation, GAA of 2.00 is 11th in the nation and .931 save percentage is sixth in the nation.

A sixth-round Boston Bruins’ draft pick in 2010, McIntyre is majoring in psychology and pre-occupational therapy. He also volunteers with elementary school visits and assists Special Olympics and youth hockey.

Harvard’s first Hobey finalist in 10 years, Vesey had a huge season, winning the ECAC scoring title while piling up 58 points (third in the nation). 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 four assists in eight playoff games, including three game-winning goals. He was the ECAC Player of the Year and First Team all-conference.

Vesey also won the Walter Brown Award as the top American-born player in New England. Off the ice, he speaks fluent Mandarin and was a third-round Nashville Predators’ draft pick in 2012. A government major, Vesey also assists with Special Olympics.

Eichel and McIntrye will play in a national semifinal game against one another on Friday, April 9.

Johnny Gaudreau of Boston College was the 2014 Hobey Baker Award winner.

80 COMMENTS

  1. I have seen all three on television.

    I have seen more of Eichel than anyone else, but all three are very deserving of being in the hat trick and winning the award.

    Of course, I am hoping that another Hobey comes to Commonwealth Avenue.

    • I think the only thing that will stop Eichel from winning it is if voters don’t want to give it to a freshmen. He’s the clear frontrunner and, in my opinion, should win it. Looking forward to seeing him play live in a week!

      • Agreed. The precedent (and mark to reach for a freshman) was set by Paul Kariya at UMaine… Would be a huge surprise if it’s not him.

    • Agree 100%. All three are deserving. Looking at the four major voting criteria for the Hobey any of the three deserve to win. Query: is Eichel as good defensively as Chris Drury was?

      • I could not find NCAA wide stats, but Eichel is #1 in +/_ in Hockey East at +49, has 25 blocks, 51% on faceoffs and only 12 penalties.

        To be fair, the top four +/- in Hockey East are Eichel, O’regan, Grzelcyk and Rodrigues.

        I did not get to watch a lot of Drury (only the final game) since I lived in upstate New York at the time, but Eichel has shown a lot of effort on the back check.

  2. Honestly, I am surprised that McIntyre made it. He had a great season but the bar is set really high for a hobby for goalies and he hasn’t had that season, but super excited to see him in it.

    • I was surprised, too. I think his nomination is more about the accomplishment of UND as a team, then McIntyre as goalie. Statistically he is certainly not the best goalie in the country, not even best in NCHC.

      • I think it may be a little skewed when comparing Zane to the conference. Yeah, Massa had a slightly better GAA, but he also played 800 less minutes. 13 games less. Out of the top 11 goalies, according to USCHO, only Jamie Phillips had about the same amount of time in net as Zane. The next had about 2100 minutes. After that, no one is real close. Pretty good considering the competition in the conference this year.

        • I agree with you on the minutes played but normally the Hobey is about statistics. See Eichel and Vesey as case in point. Overall goalie ranking has Massa 5th, McIntyre 11th. Massa also led in save percentage. I agree Sioux would not have won nearly that many games without Zane but that is not what Hobey is about. I was not knocking him, just pointing out team success might have entered into it.

          • If the hobey About statistics why didn’t Jeff panzer Zach Parise win it When they lead the nation in scoring? 81/61

          • If you mean 2001 for Panzer, the “player” with the best statistics won the Hobey. This is when the last goalie won, Ryan Miller. He only led the nation in save percentage (NCAA record .950), GAA, and shutouts (NCAA record 10). He also set NCAA career record of 26. Guess he didn’t deserve it.

            If you mean 2003, Parise finished 8th in scoring not first. He led freshman in scoring, not nation. That year Peter Seyna of CC won Hobey, he finished 3rd in nation in scoring.

            Does that answer your question as to why Jeff Panzer and Zach Parise didn’t win the Hobey?

      • Based on the voting criteria for the Hobey, McIntyre could win the Hobey. One of the four main voting criteria is “contribute to the integrity of the team”. He has played in almost every game. He is also known to be of strong moral character.

        • He also finished 11th in goaltender statistics. This was not a knock on McIntyre, I would like to see UND go all the way. Please read my note above regarding last goalie to win Hobey, Ryan Miller, whose stats were off the charts.

    • See my comment below. McIntyre fits the four major voting criteria to win the Hobey. Not saying he will win, but it is no fluke he is there.

  3. Eichel was selected before he ever set foot on the ice. It’s
    called being anointed. It helps to have a team whose name or proximity includes
    “Boston”. By the way, both Eichel and Vesey are Massachusetts born and breed kids … recruiters take notice.

    • Yup, two kids who grew up with the ability to take the train to North Station and the TD Bank North Fleet Center Garden, and the goalie from the Grand Forks area. Of course, if you’ve seen Vesey and Eichel’s numbers, you’d know where the hype comes from. Those stats are real.

      I spent the season watching Eichel, and although I hate overly hyped athletes, he’s lived up to it. I only saw Vesey in the fall, and he impressed. With the East-West divide, I can’t say anything about McIntyre. Hockey East needs to face facts and schedule against the NCHC rather than the Big 6, since they are the only real hockey conferences.

  4. I would say it goes to Eichel as a Sioux Fan. Not a fan of having goalies nominated as they have the Richter Award. That being said, Zane is the best goalie I have ever seen at UND. Hope he stays, but he is ready for the next level. The guy is just never out of position and always in control.

    Should be a fun matchup with Boston! GO SIOUX!

    • Sorry, but I hope he leaves. The Bruins could use a good back up to Tuukka Rask. Maybe even take over when the Bruins realize that a Cup will never be won with him as our goalie. McIntyre is very good.

    • As not a UND fan, McIntyre may get it. He fits at least three of the four major Hobey voting criteria perfectly (I do not know his GPA or grades).

  5. Nodak fans, I saw a post on buddy’s wall (who went to North Dakota for their Aviation program) that the “Nickname Committee” is taking suggestions for the schools new nickname. Curious what the Nodak fans would suggest?

      • I figured some may say that. You can take the “Wild” name from Minnesota, I love the team but hate their name and those ugly red jerseys, looks like they jumped a bunch of elves. Good luck next week to Nodak, should be a good game. And Zane is for sure deserving of the Hobey, but like most people have said its pretty much a foregone conclusion that Eichel will win, to bad its always stacked against the goalies.

    • The two I have heard the most so far are keeping North Dakota, or the roughriders. I would be ok with either of those.

    • I’m hoping for no nickname. Just leave it as North Dakota. If they must pick a name, I’d like to see Fighting Soo, with a locomotive as a logo. Really rub it in the face of the NC$$

      • I agree. No nickname. While I am not a UND fan or connected to the program in anyway, based on what I know about the nickname/logo situation (I don’t know much, but I do believe the Native American tribe did not object to the use of the logo or nickname), whoever forced UND to remove the nickname and logo made the worst branding mistake in the history of sports marketing. The UND logo is arguably more recognizable than any other in college hockey, perhaps all of college sports.
        From a pure business perspective, no nickname would be the best alternative.

        • Its debatable about whether or not it is the most recognizable for college hockey, but to say all of college sports is ridiculous as much as I like college hockey. Most of the fans who watch the big money making college sports would most likely not recognize the Sioux logo and least likely to able to say where it comes from. Its not a KU logo or a Texas Longhorn logo (just some examples).

          • I certainly respect your opinion. I do believe that logo identification / brand value is often geographical. Do you really think KU (I assume you mean Kansas Jayhawks) is all that well recognized on a national basis? I agree 100% that the Texas Longhorn logo is widely recognized nationally. I read an article a few years ago that the Florida Gators demanded a Florida high school stop using their Gatorhead logo. They did not want their brand watered down.
            Bottom line: While it is not in the same league as the Florida Gator or Texas Longhorn logo, I believe the UND logo has built remarkable brand recognition considering where the school is located and the fact UND’s athletic success has been largely hockey related.

          • The key to this is how hard it is to actually get merchandise with the Sioux logo. I return to Grand Forks once a year for a visit.
            You cannot actually get it at the schools merchandising stores, you have to actually get it as facilities that are not related. And yet they fly off the shelves anyway. I think the administration believed that over time (Five years) the name and logo would begin to fade and all would be well in their Politically Correct world.
            That is hardly the case as can be seen by looking in the stands on TV at a UND game. Most of those who are standing in the student section were not even at UND when the decision was made. They have had to go out of their way to acquire the jerseys that are ubiquitous, sometimes at great cost.
            But they do it regardless.
            THAT is brand loyalty.

          • I agree completely. That Fighting Sioux image and UND Fighting Sioux brand is extremely valuable. The example in your post is spot on. It seems the less available the jerseys become, the more in demand they are, driving up prices. Even if the Fighting Sioux logo/brand was not forced out of mainstream existence, from a pure marketing perspective, it is valuable and very difficult to replicate the way the brand developed.

          • Yes, and any form of persecution the university tries to put on the wearers at future games will make it assume cult status.
            If they commerically force companies currently providing the logo on merchandise to halt production under some sort of copy-right process then you will just unofficial ones appearing – possibly created by hand.
            And “Getting back at the man” will assume ever higher levels at UND.
            Kelly does this wrong and it will look like the 1970’s all over again….

          • I agree it is a strong brand within the college hockey realm, but other than that I wouldn’t say it’s that strong. But we won’t be able to tell from the opinions of this site, since 99.9% on this chat follow college hockey. It will be interesting to see what is the new nickname that the committee comes up with.

      • I was thinking North Dakota Raiders, cause they raid Canada and Minnesota for most of their good hockey players…. Or North Dakota Nordiques…. :-/

  6. Eichel is the favorite, but doesn’t show much grit. Floats around a bit and avoids contact. Hoping he steps it up against North Dakota as they can bring it.

  7. Not sure I really care a whole lot… Bot they’re all great college players, and damn fun to watch. That’s good enough for me.

  8. Wow, lots of doubt towards Zane. I ind it weird to hear people don’t think he is the best goalie in the country. And some think there are better in the NCHC alone? Good joke. Best goalie in the nation.

    • There were no doubts, and do you have ANY statistics to back you claim “he is the best goalie in the country”. Just give us one stat, not just your green colored lens.

      • I’ve seen every game and his numbers should be better. He has carried this team at times. Your arrogance shows, and stats don’t paint the picture.

        • How am I being arrogant? What do you mean “his numbers should be better? Just saying the last goalie to win Hobey led nation in every category, McIntyre does not.

          • What bias? I never said Eichel didn’t deserve to win. Stop trying to create arguments on top of arguments. How old are you…

    • I am impressed with Zane, especially the things I have heard about him off the ice. On the ice, he is a tremendous player. I think this might be one of the best set of four goaltenders (from an NHL perspective) seen in a long time.

    • The bar is just set so high for a goalie and I don’t know how you can claim that he is the best goalie in the nation. His stats don’t back that up really and I don’t know how many other goalies have the D-corp that he has playing in front of him. In most of his games this year he has had 5 of the 6 D that were all drafted and one of them in the first round. How many other goalies have had that plus the commitment to blocking shots that we UND fans are always so proud of. To say that one goalie is better than another is really difficult because they have different levels of talent playing in front of them. He is an outstanding player and I think is going to excel at the next level but the bar for a goalie to win the Hobey is really ridiculous (just look at what Ryan Miller did to get it) and I would be surprised to see him win it. I hope he does but I am not expecting it. Great player and I hope he leads UND To the title but I think the Hobey will go to Eichel.

  9. McIntyre had a great year (as did Sioux) but it would be a stretch, or extreme bias thinking, to think he will win the Hobey. Only 2 goalies have ever won this award, bar is simply too high for goalie. Last goalie to win was in 2001, Ryan Miller. Miller led the nation in save percentage (NCAA record .950), GAA, and shutouts (NCAA record 10). He also set NCAA career record of 26. Most Hobeys go to centers or wings that are in the top 4 in scoring. Only 6 defenseman have ever won this award, is a forwards favorite to win.

  10. Eichel has had a nice season, but come on. He isn’t even the best freshman in college hockey, let alone the best player. Way too much hype for him…..

    • And your statistics to back this up? The player (or list of players) better.

      Of course, the hype about being picked 1 or 2 in this year’s draft is merely hyperbole.

      • Did you watch any of the world junior tournament? Eichel was a non-factor. Dylan Larkin was easily the best player on the American Team and in the entire tournament. Larkin is the best freshman in the country. I wouldn’t even call Eichel the best player on his team this year.

        • That is an awfully small sample set and hard to look at one player in such a short tournament.

          Larkin looks like a solid player. I have not seen him play, so I will leave it to others. I have seen Eichel play in Hockey East and the skill is real. He is the best player I have seen at BU, and I have seen Amonte, McEachern, Wilson and Gilroy live, in person. I have seen enough of Drury in the pros to know he awesome, but when he played in college there was little chance to see him where I lived.

          • Drury was better, I’d say. I only watched McEachern after Amonte arrived, so it is tough to say one was dominant when you had the 90-91 team that dominated so much (except for UP team aparentally.) Gilroy is tough since defencemen are looked at differently.
            Of course, Drury was 21 when he won Hobey. Sadly, Eichel doesn’t have an older brother telling him to stay in school.

          • The suggestions that Jack Parker and David Quinn make to all players is to go pro if you can crack an NHL lineup, otherwise it is better to stay in the NCAA instead of playing AHL. It is a choice that each player has to make.

            I only wish Jack Eichel would stay a couple more years, because he would be an even stronger player. He is definitely NHL caliber right now, from what I have seen of his play.

        • What does the world junior tournament have to do with college hockey season this year? Freshman or not, Eichel led nation in scoring while Larkin finished 11th. This comes from a person who wants NCHC (UND/UNO) teams to win. Think you need to clean your blue and maize glasses.

          • World juniors has nothing to do with the Hobey Baker Award. Look back at the first comment in thread to see the relevance. So Eichel led the nation in points, and Larkin was 11th. So what. He isn’t a better player than Larkin. In his peer group at the World juniors, he was noticeably absent. Didn’t stand out against the kids in his age group from around the world. Again, I’m not saying he isn’t a good player. I’m saying he is (1) NOT the best player in college (your D-man is a better college player than him), (2) NOT the best freshman in the country (Larkin is better), and (3) NOT the best player on his team (Rodrigues had just as good of a year and was more clutch than Eichel). Eichel put up a bunch of points against the patsies in Hockey East and wasn’t there in crunch time in many bigger games. He’s a decent player, but NOT the best in college hockey. And this has nothing to do with Maize n Blue glasses. We don’t have the best player in college hockey this year. That was never my point…..

          • I hear what you are saying, and somewhat agree. When you state “so what” to where each player ranks on the scoring list, I will tell you why that matters. Since 2003 there have been 10 forwards that have won Hobey Baker, all 10 have been in the top 4 in points. Eight have been either 1 or 2. Even if LaLeggia didn’t take the major and misconduct to take him out of running, Eichel (best player or not), has a huge advantage over everyone in voting. I don’t know how many goals he scored against “patsies”, will take your word on it, but his leading in points will make him Hobey winner if past results are an indication.

          • I just hate when they give awards to the player with the best stats. The Heisman is like that now. Seems to always go to the QB on the best team. 25 of his points came from 7 games against UMass, Merrimack, Wisconsin and UConn. The knock I have against him at this stage (he’s only a freshman and certainly improve) is that he has been absent in big games. Vesey led the nation in goals and was always a factor in big games for Harvard. I think the ND goalie has no chance to win it and it comes down to Vesey or Eichel. I think Vesey is a better player right now than Eichel. Guess we’ll find out next week….

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