Top NHL Draft prospect Jack Eichel headlines Hobey Baker Award finalists
Jack Eichel, the nation's leading scorer and the second-rated prospect for this June's draft, was named Thursday as one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in U.S. college hockey.
Eichel is one of seven forwards and the only freshman selected by a vote of the 59 Division I men’s coaches and online fan balloting. Just five of the finalists were previously drafted by NHL teams.
Here are the finalists in alphabetical order.
• Daniel Ciampini, senior forward, Union (free agent)
• Jack Eichel, freshman forward, Boston University (draft eligible, 2015)
• Matt Garbowsky, senior forward, Rochester Institute of Technology (free agent)
• Zach Hyman, senior forward, Michigan (Panthers, 123rd, 2010)
• Tanner Kero, senior forward, Michigan Tech (free agent)
• Joey LaLeggia, senior defenseman, Denver (Oilers, 123rd, 2012)
• Zane McIntyre, junior goaltender, North Dakota (Bruins, 165th, 2010)
• Mike Reilly, junior defenseman, Minnesota (Blues, 98th, 2011)
• Jimmy Vesey, junior forward, Harvard (Predators, 66th, 2012)
• Cody Wydo, senior forward, Robert Morris (free agent)
Eichel, who tallied 61 points to lead all scorers, is regarded as the co-favorite to win the award along with Hyman, who led Michigan with 19 goals and 49 points in 34 games. But both are fighting a bit of history in their bid to claim the prize. In the 34 years that the Hobey Baker has been awarded, only 1993 winner Paul Kariya of Maine has been honored as a freshman, which weighs against Eichel's chances. And each of the past seven winners has been an American, which puts the Toronto-born Hyman at a disadvantage.
Vesey, who finished second in the country in scoring, is likely to round out the Hobey Hat Trick, the list of three finalists that will be announced on April 2. The winner will be named at the Frozen Four in Boston on April 10.