Michigan’s top-line forwards all land spots on list of 2016 Hobey Baker Award finalists

Michigan’s Kyle Connor leads the country with 30 goals and 61 points (photo: Michael Dubicki).

Michigan’s “CCM Line” made history when the 10 finalists for the 2016 Hobey Baker Award were released on Wednesday.

JT Compher, Kyle Connor and Tyler Motte became the first complete line to all be named to the list of finalists.

It’s also only the third time in the 36-year history of the award, and first since 2000, that three players from the same team are among the finalists.

The full list:

Player's NamePositionClassSchoolStats
JT CompherFJr.Michigan13-39-52 (34)
Kyle ConnorFFr.Michigan30-31-61 (34)
Thatcher DemkoGJr.Boston College25-6-4, 1.78, .938
Zac LynchFSr.Robert Morris24-28-52 (37)
Alex LyonGJr.Yale19-7-4, 1.59, .938
Tyler MotteFJr.Michigan29-21-50 (34)
Alex PetanFSr.Michigan Tech18-15-33 (36)
Andrew PoturalskiFSo.New Hampshire22-30-52 (37)
Ethan ProwDSr.St. Cloud State8-27-35 (34)
Jimmy VeseyFSr.Harvard23-21-44 (30)

Vesey is the only returning finalist from 2015, when he was part of the Hobey Hat Trick along with winner Jack Eichel of Boston University and North Dakota’s Zane McIntyre.

Voting will take place after the NCAA regionals, with the Hobey Hat Trick scheduled to be announced on March 31.

The winner will be announced in a ceremony at 6 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 8 at the Tampa Theatre in Tampa, Fla., during the Frozen Four. That is scheduled to be broadcast on the NHL Network.

Compher, Connor and Motte are the first trio of finalists from the same team since Boston College’s Mike Mottau, Jeff Farkas and Brian Gionta in 2000. Michigan also had three finalists in 1994: David Oliver, Steve Shields and Brian Wiseman.


      • He played in TWO less games than Lyon and seven less than Demko. He even has more wins than Lyon. He also has the best winning percentage in the league (short of giving QUs goalie the flyer for ties), the best GAA, and is tied for best save percentage and it is not like he ONLY PLAYED 10 games, or even 20 (he played 28). That is like a complete ECAC schedule.

        • Lyon probably was locked in in the voter’s mind before the 6 goals against in the Dartmouth series. For consolation, neither Demko nor Lyon will win the Hobey, and Johnson will probably win the Richter Award.

    • Well, the argument there is that Johnson missed a significant portion of the season compared to the other goal tenders.

  1. One player west of MI. Wow what a joke this award has become. Boeser is 7th in scoring in the country and was missing both of his line mates for a good portion of the season. Did connor play a single game without both of the guys on his line?

    • Not to mention that entire Mich line played 24 of their games against the worst defenses in the nation. Not a single team in the crap 6 has a defense ranked better than 33rd.

      • Old WCHA fans are like the SEC of college hockey. Anything that doesn’t go their way is a travesty and possibly a crime deserving jail time of some sorts

        • It’s the North Dakota fans that never attended the school with the issues, because I’ve found the ones that actually attended and graduated aren’t bad. Uneducated, hillbilly trash will always be garbage. UofMGoldenChokers is a perfect example of somebody who’s accomplished nothing in life, and uses internet message boards to fill an empty void.

          • So glad you know me so well, you must be one of my neighbors? Or just a moron that thinks they know everything? And you cant deny their numbers are inflated by playing in such a crap conference riddled with terrible defense. So suck it Ted.

          • Reading comprehension has never been your strength. At what point did I disagree or mention anything about the defensive play in the Big Ten? I do know you well. You have troll this site for years with hypocritical rants and a blinding disdain for the Gophers that destroys any logic or intelligent argument. I miss Wisco and all his accounts. He made you look like such a fool that I even felt bad for you when he mind screwed you into talking about your failed marriage and how the mother of your kids left you. Do something you have never done, and answer the question proposed to you. What’s one achievement in your life that’s actually worth mentioning? My argument is that unhappy people use message boards as a platform to fill a void in their life. Prove me wrong. Good luck to the How About We Keep Sioux this weekend, Mr. Chocker.

          • What in the hell do you even care. I will continue to rip goof U at every possibility, as well as the entire $hit 6 conference. So again, suck it ted. And mind fooled me? Go ahead and find any place I spoke of a failed marriage or kids. Pretty sure you are receiving one that needs the reading comprehension.

          • Here is your comment about your failed relationship in response to one of Wisco’s accounts from the March 22, 2015 blog on the NCHC. I wasn’t able to post the whole conversation, but this is the highlight.

            “Better (her) leaving than to never have had……like you. And wisco wishes he was me. But he can hold his own…..kind of like that new commentor….#1Wisco Sports Fart.”

            I proved my statement, and you still can’t answer a question. I’m going to give you the last comment so you can have some sense of pride *cough* in the shallow existence you call life. Goodnight, Mr. Chocker.

          • I see you don’t get sarcasm. What an idiot. But nice job on the stalker part. You must have no life in mommy’s basement to find thing you want to believe areally true. What a loser. Ted, a firm believer of “if it’s on the internet, it must be true.”

    • The Motte, Compher and Connor line was formed on 12/04/2015, so Connor played 11 games without Motte and Compher. I think Cam Johnson should be on the list.

  2. Congrats to the ten finalists….shouldn’t take anything way from them and their great seasons. I agree with the NCHC faithful though, seems a bit skewed.

    • A bit skewed? That’s one way of saying it. But you are correct, that my comment is a bit harsh. These players all had great seasons and they probably are deserving but one player west of MI? Lots of good hockey players out in the western part of the country this year.

      • I agree with you 100%.

        Curious how many lines Mich rolls on a normal night. ND seems to have 4 going no matter what. Another words, does the CCM line get 3-5 min more ice time per game than the CBS line? Did the CCM line stay healthy, as you mentioned previously, all year?

        Cam not making it in is the one that surprised me. His stats are comparable or better than the other two goalies and UNDs SOS is better than BC and Yale. Doesn’t matter since none of the goalies have good enough numbers to even sniff the top 3, but that’s where the committee could have evened it out some if they wanted to.

        All just the opinion of a NCHC biased North Dakotan though. :)

  3. They needed to, but didn’t, consider the Michigan guys got to rack up points against the terrible defenses in the Big 6 plus 5 games against Atlantic Hockey. Motte and Compher were good but not great in out of conference games. Anas from Quinnipiac, any of the UND top liners (Boeser had the most points, Caggiula is a senior that was 12th in points per game), someone from Denver’s top line, Kossila from SCSU, or Guentzel from UNO all would have been more deserving than at least one and probably both of Motte and Compher.

  4. what a joke. UND should have at least two players in the top 10 and maybe three. The Hobey has become a joke. Might as well just say “**** UND, we hate them just like the NCAA hates them.”

  5. Complete BS that Boesser nor Cagguila (and a couple other top NCHC players) are not on this list. Connor and one of his teammates are deserving but all 3? The PPG numbers are obviously going to be inflated when the average defensive ranking for your conference opponents is an astounding 46. Boesser and Cagguila played against an average of 29 (but that number is inflated because of CC and WM) with some actual defensive teams such as Denver Duluth or St. Cloud. So comparing boessers 1.3 PPG isn’t as far off from Compher or Motte’s 1.5 PPG (not to mention boesser has a comparable 34 plus or minus). Caguilla on the other hand has a 1. 28 PPG while having a 38 plus or minus and having 7 game winners. Both Boesser and Cagguila’s credentials merrit at least one of them to be a finalist subbed in for one of the Michigan players (besides Connor) or another player on this list.

    Jordan Speith shoots 20 under at the normal pga course but shoots 4 under at the US open does that mean his level of play has decreased? No his “scoring”environment has become more difficult. Not a hard concept to understand unless you are on the Hobey Selection Committee i guess.

    And yes I’m a UND fan but, I’d argue that Denver and St. Cloud have some players (Trevor Moore, Kossila) that could have easily been on this list as well

    • And don’t forget Caggiula missed a series against CC and another one against WMU. Boeser missed the UAH series. Schmaltz missed a CC, WMU, and UAH series. They all missed games that would have been good opportunities to pad their stats against teams similar in competition to the average B10 team.

  6. Since goal tenders RARELY win this award, you can count them out. Michigan’s top line is going to cancel each other out. Petan is a canadian, and Lynch plays in a terrible conference. That leaves Poturalski, Connor, Prow, and Vesey left as viable candidates.

  7. I am surprised that all 3 Michigan players are on this list when Ryan Duncan, Jonathan Toews, and T.J. Oshie didn’t all make the list in 2007 when they all played on the same line. Ryan Duncan won the Hobey that year as the “best college hockey player” when he even admitted that he was the 3rd best player on his own line.

    • My hero! Anytime the Blackhawks and Caps (formerly Blues) play on national tv i’m always waiting for them to sprinkle that one in there…..never happens though.

      Anyway, just another example as to why the Hobey is flawed.


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