Tonight, the Hobey Baker Award committee will announce the 10 finalists for this year’s award. Here’s my ballot, not necessarily in order.
Matt Gilroy, Boston University, senior, defenseman — The last defenseman to win was Matt Carle in 2006, then Jordan Leopold, when Minnesota won the national title in 2002. Gilroy’s leadership and higher commitment to defense this year, made BU a juggernaut on offense and defense — and by staying another season, he has only raised his stock higher with the pro scouts.
Brad Thiessen, Northeastern, junior, goaltender — Like John Muse last year, Thiessen played every minute of every game so far this season. The Hockey East goaltender of the year has a 2.07 GAA and .932 save percentage.
David McIntyre, Colgate, junior, forward — He didn’t get the nod in the ECAC, and probably won’t get recognized here, but that’s only because Colgate was a 10th-place team in the league. But McItyre was responsible for 25 percent of his team’s offense, with 21 goals and 43 points, and throw in his remarkable plus-18 rating, tremendous for a sub-.500 team.
Brock Bradford, Boston College, senior, forward — Had as many power-play goals (10) as any other player on his team had overall. Finished with 25 goals overall, and, again, if his team was strong this year, he’d be a shoo-in for this list. But with his team playing better lately, it could help him out.
Ryan Stoa, Minnesota, junior, forward — And here’s yet another player with a strong year for a team that struggled. However, Minnesota didn’t struggle as much as BC or Colgate, and Stoa did put up 24 goals and a plus-17. His presence alone was a huge factor in every game, and if his team had a little bit better season, he’d be my pick for the Award, period. Even still he should get serious consideration.
Jacques Lamoureux, Air Force, sophomore, forward — Yet another selection with a caveat involved. He leads the nation with 31 goals and is a plus-20, but he will not get as much credit because his team plays in a weaker conference. Nevertheless, Air Force is a legit top 20 Pairwise team, had some big wins early, and his numbers are so staggering, they are hard to ignore. He had three goals in a two-game series against Bemidji State, and two in one game against NCAA-bound Yale.
Ian Cole, Notre Dame, sophomore, defenseman — On a tremendous, well-balanced team loaded with quality candidates — Erik Condra, Christian Hanson, Kyle Lawson, Jordan Pearce — it’s Cole that stands out. He was the only one of them to be named First Team All-CCHA. He anchors the power play, and was a plus-15, leading the team.
Louis Caporusso, Michigan, sophomore, forward – 23 goals and 23 assists, 10 PPG — a dynamic player on one of the country’s top teams.
Chad Johnson, Alaska-Fairbanks, senior, goaltender – An outstanding .939 save percentage, and led a team with one 10-goal scorer to the CCHA semifinals. First Team All-CCHA.
Colin Wilson, Boston University, sophomore, forward – I guess the No. 1 team in the nation deserves two picks.
Just missing the cut: Jamie McBain, Wisconsin, defenseman; Zane Kalemba, Princeton, goaltender; Carter Camper, Miami, forward; Aaron Palushaj, Michigan, sophomore; Ryan Lasch, St. Cloud State, forward; Chay Genoway, North Dakota, defender; Viktor Stalberg, forward, Vermont.
UPDATE: The list just came out … among my list, Bradford, Stoa and Cole did not make it. Instead, three others from the “just missing the cut” list did: McBain, Kalemba and Stalberg. I can live with that. I was happy to see McIntyre make the list. I don’t mind swapping McBain for Cole. But Bradford and Stoa deserve it over the other two.