It'll be an all-Boston battle for the Hobey Baker Award.
Boston University center Jack Eichel, Harvard winger Jimmy Vesey and North Dakota goalie Zane McIntyre, a Bruins draft pick, were announced on Thursday as the finalists for the award that goes to the nation’s top college hockey player.
Eichel, a highly coveted prospect who is expected to go second overall in this year’s NHL draft, is the first freshman finalist since Zach Parise in 2003. He leads the nation with 43 assists and 22 power play points. He’s seen as the favorite but Vesey, who led the nation with 32 goals this season, has already beaten Eichel once during this awards season, taking home the Walter Brown Award as the top American-born player in New England. The Predators prospect announced on Wednesday that he will return to Harvard for his senior season.
McIntyre, who leads the nation with 29 wins, also is a favorite to capture the Mike Richter Award as college hockey’s top goaltender.
The award will be handed out on April 10, one day before a NCAA title game that will feature either McIntyre or Eichel. The two face off on April 9 in the semifinal.