The Hobey Baker Award, this year celebrating its 25th anniversary, is given out annually to the nation’s top collegiate player. Four current NHL prospects were among the ten players selected this year. The ten finalists are comprised of five forwards, four goaltenders and one defenseman. This is the first year since 1994 that four goaltenders have been named among the ten finalists.
The “Hobey Hat Trick”, which is the top three finalists from the ten just nominated, will be announced on March 30th. The Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced on Friday, April 8th at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, the host city of this year’s Frozen Four.
Sophomore – Quinnipiac University
The immensely talented Cashman led the nation’s defensemen in scoring with 43 points (13 goals, 30 assists) and points per game (1.23). His 13 goals and 30 assists were tied for first in the nation in both categories. His 43 points, which also led the Atlantic Hockey Conference in scoring, marks the first time that a defenseman has won the scoring title in the conference. Cashman has points in 24 of 35 games played for Quinnipiac this season and helped lead the Bobcats to capture the Atlantic Hockey regular season title. Recently, Cashman was named the Atlantic Hockey Conference’s Player of the Year. He was also only one of two players unanimously selected to Atlantic Hockey’s All-Conference First Team.
Junior – Boston College
Drafted in 2003 by the Ottawa Senators. First Round, 29th overall
The Ottawa Senators prospect has enjoyed an outstanding junior campaign for Boston College this season. Coming into the Hockey East semi-finals, he led the Eagles in virtually every statistical category, including points (48), goals (19), assists (29) and plus/minus (+28). Back on February 26th, Eaves became the 62nd player in BC hockey history to join the 100-point club. He led the Eagles to their third consecutive Hockey East regular season title this season. Eaves’ stellar performance throughout the regular season earned him the Hockey East Player of the Year honor. For the second year in a row, he was named to the Hockey East All-Conference First Team.
Sadly, Boston College will be without his services going into the conference semi-finals this weekend due to a bruised lung that he suffered in last weekend’s conference quarterfinals versus UMass.
Senior – Harvard University
Drafted in 2002 by the Philadelphia Flyers. Fifth Round, 161st overall
Grumet-Morris continues to re-write Harvard’s goaltending record books, while enjoying a career year this season. He comes into the ECACHL conference semi-finals with some impressive statistics. His .949 save percentage ranks first in the nation, while his 1.53 goals against average ranks second. He sports an 18-7-3 record that includes six shutouts. His six shutouts are tied for second in the nation. Grumet-Morris holds several schools records, including career goals against average (2.24) and career save percentage (.923). He also needs just 14 saves to set the school’s all-time saves record. He’s currently at 2,963. His sensational season has eared him many honors including selections to the All-Ivy League and ECACHL All-Conference Second Teams. Grumet-Morris was recently named the 2005 recipient of the Walter Brown Award, which is awarded to the top American-born collegiate hockey player in New England. He became the ninth Harvard player to win the honor in the award’s 53-year history.
T. J. Hensick
Sophomore – University of Michigan
Draft eligible 2005
The dynamic Hensick continues to get better and better for the maize and blue. This season, he became the first Michigan player since Brendan Morrison to lead the conference in scoring with 51 points (22 goals, 29 assists). This is the second year in a row that Hensick has led his team in scoring and his 51 points is tied for fourth in the nation. Earlier in the season, Hensick was selected to represent the United States at the recent World Junior Championships. Among the honors he has received this season, include three CCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors. Recently, Hensick was a unanimous selection to the CCHA’s All-Conference First Team. Hensick is also currently ranked 94th among all North American skaters eligible for the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau.
Sophomore – Cornell University
The Irving, Texas native exploded onto the college hockey scene this season with some sensational goaltending that has helped establish Cornell as arguably the nation’s best defensive team. Entering the ECACHL conference semi-finals, McKee leads the nation in goals against average (1.24) and shutouts (10), and was also tied for first in the nation in wins (24). He ranks second in the nation in save percentage (.945) and third in winning percentage (.823). Of his 31 starts this season, McKee has allowed two or fewer goals in 28 of them. Of those 28 starts, he has allowed one goal or fewer in 17 of them. Back on March 11th, McKee broke Ken Dryden’s school record for career shutouts with his 14th. McKee garnered both the Ivy League and the ECACHL’s Player and Goaltender of the Year honors. He was also selected to the Ivy League and ECACHL’s All-First Teams.
Senior – Michigan Tech University
The sensational playmaking Murphy has become the heart and soul of the Michigan Tech Huskies this season. He currently leads the nation in assists with 42 and finishes his stellar season with 53 points overall. His 42 assists tie a school record for most assists in a season. He is currently third in the nation in points. Murphy was the only player in the nation to have averaged better than an assist per game this season, and ranks fourth in the nation in points per game (1.43). Perhaps the most remarkable statistic of all, and one that shows how important he was to the team’s offense, is the fact that Murphy had a hand in 53 of the Huskies 91 team goals (58.2 percent). He was recently selected to the WCHA’s All-Conference First Team. Murphy is just the second Huskies player ever to be named as a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.
Junior – Colorado College
One half of Colorado College’s explosive dynamic duo, Sertich comes into the WCHA Final Five leading the nation in points with 61 (25 goals, 36 assists) and points per game (1.61). His 36 assists rank second in the nation while his 25 goals rank tied for third. In the 36 games that he has played this season, Sertich has had at least one point in 31 of them. Of those 31 games, he has 21 multiple-point games. From mid-November to mid-January he went on a torrid 16-game points streak that saw him amass 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) in that span. In addition to his superb offensive production, Sertich is also one of the league’s “iron men”. He has not missed a game during his entire collegiate career thus far, playing in 119 consecutive games going into the WCHA Final Five this weekend. Not surprisingly, Sertich was named the WCHA’s Player of the Year and was named to the WCHA’s All-Conference First Team.
Senior – Bowling Green State University
Drafted in 2001 by the Boston Bruins. Seventh Round, 209th overall
Sigalet has become an inspiration to many both inside and outside the world of NCAA hockey. In December, he disclosed that he has Multiple Sclerosis, and since then has continued to play near or at the top of his game. He helped lead Bowling Green to a top six finish going into the first round of the CCHA Playoffs, finishing the season with a 16-12-3 record. Sigalet leaves BGSU with the best career save percentage (.915) and also ranks second all-time in school history in career goals against average (2.98), third all-time in saves (3,147) and fifth all-time in minutes played (5,924:09). Sigalet was recently named the recipient of the CCHA’s Terry Flanagan Award, given to the upperclassman that has overcome some type of personal adversity and is active on his university campus and surrounding community. He was also selected to the CCHA’s All-Conference Second Team. Sigalet became the first Falcons goaltender to have been named a team captain as well as being named a Hobey Baker finalist. He led the online fan balloting for the Hobey Baker Award with over 85,000 votes.
Junior – Colorado College
Drafted in 2003 by the Atlanta Thrashers. Fifth Round, 145th overall
The Atlanta Thrashers prospect along with linemate Marty Sertich, make up arguably the nation’s most potent twosome. He helped lead Colorado College to a share of the MacNaughton Cup and the WCHA regular season title. Sterling leads the nation in goals (30) and power play goals (16). He ranks second in the nation to Sertich in points with 58 (30 goals, 28 assists). In 30 of the 38 games he has played this season, Sterling has amassed at least one point. He started the season on an immediate tear, scoring eight goals in the Tigers first six games. Sterling’s best streak of the season came back in late November to early January, where in an 11-game stretch, he notched 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists). He was named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week three times. Most recently, Sterling’s outstanding season performance earned him a spot on the WCHA All-Conference First Team.
Senior – Northern Michigan University
The lone non-North American born player to be named a Hobey Baker finalist, Tarkki is enjoying an outstanding year that includes etching his name in the NMU record books and leading the Wildcats to a top three seed going into the CCHA Playoffs. Coming into the CCHA Super Six, Tarkki sports a 20-7-5 record. He ranks third in the nation in save percentage (.933), fifth in wins (20), tied for ninth in goals against average (1.97) and is ranked tenth in winning percentage (.703) and minutes played (1915:11). The Rauma, Finland native set a new school record for the best single season save percentage in conference play (.936). His 1.81 goals against average ties the school record for the lowest in a single season in conference play. In 20 of his 33 starts this season, prior to the CCHA Super Six, Tarkki allowed two goals or less. His superb season performance earned him the CCHA’s Player and Goaltender of the Year honors. He was also selected to the CCHA All-Conference First Team.
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