Connor’s big weekend helps solidify spot atop Hobey Watch straw poll

Michigan rookie Kyle Connor scored five goals and assisted on three more in two games last weekend (photo: Jim Rosvold).

This latest edition of Hobey Watch covers the latest straw poll of our writers, taken after the conference championships and before the NCAA regionals.

We’ll be making one more prediction before the Hobey Hat Trick is announced on March 31.

To recap, these are the 10 finalists as announced by the committee on March 16:

JT Compher, Michigan
Kyle Connor, Michigan
Thatcher Demko, Boston College
Zac Lynch, Robert Morris
Alex Lyon, Yale
Tyler Motte, Michigan
Alex Petan, Michigan Tech
Andrew Poturalski, New Hampshire
Ethan Prow, St. Cloud State
Jimmy Vesey, Harvard

And here are the results from our writers’ votes for the top five candidates, based on performance through March 19:

1. Kyle Connor, Michigan

The freshman had a huge weekend in the Big Ten tournament with five goals and three assists to lead the Wolverines to the B1G title. Connor has 69 points, tops in the nation.

2. Jimmy Vesey, Harvard

The Crimson came up short against Quinnipiac in the ECAC Hockey title game, with Vesey factoring in both goals in a 2-1 overtime win over St. Lawrence in the semifinals. Harvard will face Boston College in the NCAA Northeast Regional on Friday.

3. Tyler Motte, Michigan

The second of three Wolverines forwards on the list of 10 Hobey finalists, Motte had a pair of goals and a pair of assists last weekend. He and the Wolverines are in action Friday, taking on Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional.

4. Ethan Prow, St. Cloud State

Prow, the only defenseman among the 10 finalists, had two assists in helping the Huskies to the NCHC title last weekend. He continues to lead all defensemen in Division I with 37 points. Next up for Prow and his teammates: Ferris State on Saturday in the NCAA West Regional.

5. Thatcher Demko, Boston College

Demko had an off game in the Hockey East semifinals, allowing five goals on 32 shots in a 5-4 loss to Northeastern. The Eagles square off against Vesey and Harvard in the Northeast Regional on Friday.

Others receiving votes: Alex Lyon, Yale; JT Compher, Michigan; Andrew Poturalski, New Hampshire

Lyon and Compher can make some more noise in the NCAA tournament, while Poturalski’s college career is over as the sophomore signed a entry-level contract with Carolina on March 8.

The other two Hobey finalists, seniors Lynch (Robert Morris) and Petan (Michigan Tech) signed amateur tryout deals with Portland (AHL) and Minnesota (NHL), respectively.

Coming off a dominating performance in the Big Ten tournament, it looks like Connor has solidified his place as the front-runner, as least as far as our writers are concerned.

The 27 members of the Hobey Baker Award committee will submit their ballots on March 28 and 29, with the Hobey Hat Trick announced on March 31.

The winner will be announced on April 8 at a ceremony at the Tampa Theatre during the Frozen Four.