St. Cloud State’s Drew LeBlanc lands Hobey Baker Award

By DJ Powers

Drew LeBlanc - St. Cloud State University

Photo: St. Cloud State forward Drew LeBlanc's season and college career ended one game earlier than he would have liked, but he received a nice consolation prize after being named the 2013 Hobey Baker Award winner (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

St. Cloud State red-shirted senior Drew LeBlanc has been named the recipient of the 2013 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player The Hermantown, MN native is the first player from St. Cloud State to win the prestigious honor.

“It’s tough to put up into words,” a humbled LeBlanc said in winning the award. “It’s obviously a tremendous honor. For everything that Hobey Baker stands for and what he did, not only for college athletics but for the country as well, I’m just honored to be mentioned in what he represents and I’ll take tremendous pride in representing him.”

Earlier in the evening, LeBlanc was named to the All-America West First Team. Among the many other accolades that he garnered earlier this season, LeBlanc was named both the WCHA’s Player and Student-Athlete of the Year.

LeBlanc guided the Huskies to their first-ever Frozen Four appearance, falling to Quinnipiac in the second semi-final game on Thursday night.

LeBlanc was one of the best feel-good stories coming out of the NCAA this season. After a horrific leg injury in Nov. 2011 abruptly ended what was his original senior season, LeBlanc made a triumphant return to the Huskies lineup and became one of the nation’s best playmakers this season. His leadership was not only instrumental in St. Cloud State’s success, but it also helped bring out the best in his teammates, particularly the freshman class.

“Drew’s obviously a great player,” said LeBlanc’s linemate, freshman Johnny Brodzinski. “He sees the ice extremely well and is able to find me and Kalle (Kossila) on the ice. Drew’s work ethic and just the way he carries himself is unbelievable. In every practice and in every game, he’s giving his all.”

LeBlanc finishes his stellar senior campaign with 50 points, which includes his nation-leading 37 assists. He leaves St. Cloud State having amassed 147 career points (42 goals, 105 assists) in 171 career games.

Follow DJ Powers on Twitter at @DJPowersHF