Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey named 2016 Hobey Baker Award winner

Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey won the 2016 Hobey Baker Award (photo: Shelley M. Szwast).

TAMPA, Fla. — Jimmy Vesey made his return for his senior season pay off with the Hobey Baker Award.

Vesey, a Harvard senior who scored 24 goals and 46 points this season, was named the 2016 Hobey recipient Friday night at a ceremony at the Tampa Theatre.

Vesey got the most votes from a 27-person selection committee, beating out fellow Hobey Hat Trick finalists Kyle Connor of Michigan and Thatcher Demko of Boston College.

He was a Hobey Hat Trick finalist in 2015, losing out to Boston University’s Jack Eichel after a 32-goal, 58-point season.

This season, he had five multiple-goal games, including a hat trick against St. Lawrence on Jan. 15.

Here’s the official release:

The Hobey Baker Memorial Award announced today the 2016 recipient of college hockey’s top individual prize is Jimmy Vesey from Harvard University. The announcement came during the NCAA Frozen Four championship in a live ceremony held at historic Tampa Theatre in Tampa, Florida and aired nationally on NHL Network.

For Vesey (pronounced VEE-zee), the second time is a charm as he was a Hobey Hat Trick finalist a year ago when he led the nation in goal scoring. Two is a prominent number for the senior captain of the Crimson. For two straight years Vesey has been named ECAC Player of the Year, Ivy League Player of the Year, ECAC First Team all-conference and winner of the Walter Brown Award as the best American-born player in New England.

Jimmy Vesey finished the season recording 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points in 33 games. Over the past two years, he has scored more goals than any other player in college hockey — 56, after bagging a nation’s best 32 last season. It was a happy day on campus a year ago when Vesey spurned offers to turn professional in order to return for his senior year as a student-athlete. However, he did play alongside many pro players when he represented the U.S. in the World Championships last May. He was a third round draft pick of Nashville of the NHL

Hobey Baker was the legendary Princeton (1914) hockey player known as America’s greatest amateur athlete one hundred years ago. He redefined how the game was played with his coast-to-coast dashes in an era when hockey was contested with seven players and no forward passes. Baker, a member of the U.S. Army’s Air Corp, died testing a repaired aircraft at the end of World War I after he had completed his military service. The Hobey Baker Award criteria includes: displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements. Vesey was selected from a group of ten finalists by a 27-member selection committee and online fan balloting.

A dynamic offensive talent as his stats verify, Vesey was an impact player in all phases of the game. Regular shifts and power play duties were the norm, but he was often underestimated in his defensive responsibilities. Vesey was a fixture on the penalty kill and was widely recognized as the hardest worker on the team. His compete-level made Vesey a difference maker.

A native of North Reading, Massachusetts, Jimmy is a Government major and has been ECAC All Academic every year. Off the ice, Vesey helped raise money for the Travis Roy Foundation and the Franciscan Hospital for Children. He provided manual labor at Cristo Rey High School in Boston to prepare it for the school year and volunteered time with local youth teaching them to skate.

More coverage to come.