By Allan Muir
The original herd of 68 hopefuls has been culled and now the list of potential 2014 Hobey Baker Award winners is down to 10.
The finalists who are hoping to be recognized as college hockey's top player are Nebraska-Omaha junior forward Josh Archibald, St. Lawrence senior forward Greg Carey, St. Cloud State senior forward Nic Dowd, Ohio State junior forward Ryan Dzingel, Boston College junior forward Johnny Gaudreau and senior forward Kevin Hayes, Ferris State junior goalie CJ Motte, Wisconsin junior goalie Joel Rumpel, Minnesota sophomore goalie Adam Wilcox and Union College defenseman Shane Gostisbehere.
Gaudreau, a highly touted prospect of the Flames, is regarded as the favorite. The numbers tell the tale of his dominance this season. Powered by a 31-game point scoring streak, Gaudreau leads the nation in points (69) and goals (32) and is second in assists (37). He's joined by Hayes, his linemate, who ranks second in the country in scoring with 56 points. Hayes is no threat to win the award, but he could end up in the final three.
Gostisbehere, the only blueliner among the finalists, won the first phase of the fan vote, appearing on more than 24,000 ballots. He was a third-round pick of the Flyers in 2012.
Five other finalists have been drafted by NHL teams: Archibald (Penguins), Dowd (Kings), Dzingel (Senators), Hayes (Blackhawks) and Wilcox (Lightning). Carey was signed to a free agent deal by the Coyotes earlier this week after the Saints' season came to an end.
The Hobey Hat Trick finalists will be announced on April 2. The winner will be announced on April 11 at the NCAA Frozen Four in Philadelphia.