The Hobey Baker Memorial Award is very pleased to announce the top ten candidates for the 2016 award honoring college hockey's top player. Alphabetically, they are: JT Compher, Michigan, Kyle Connor, Michigan, Thatcher Demko, Boston College, Zac Lynch, Robert Morris, Alex Lyon, Yale, Tyler Motte, Michigan, Alex Petan, Michigan Tech, Andrew Poturalski, New Hampshire, Ethan Prow, St. Cloud State, Jimmy Vesey, Harvard.
The ten finalists were selected by voting from all 60 Division I college hockey head coaches and by online fan balloting. Next, the 27-member Selection Committee and an additional round of fan balloting through the Hobey Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheHobey/ or the Hobey website at www.hobeybakeraward.com from March 17-27 will determine this year's Hobey Baker winner. Criteria for the award include: displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.
The Hobey Hat Trick (three finalists) will be announced on March 31, 2016 and the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 8, 2016 from Tampa, FL during the NCAA Frozen Four. The award announcement will take place at the historic Tampa Theatre, built in 1926 as one of America's most elaborate movie palaces. The announcement will be televised live on the NHL Network and can be followed on the Hobey Baker website at 6:00 p.m. ET. Following, in alphabetical order, is a look at each finalist.
JT Compher – University of Michigan - Junior, Forward, Northbrook, Illinois
An outstanding playmaking center iceman, Compher (COME-fer) leads the nation in assists and is tied for second in scoring heading into conference championships. A First Team all-conference selection in the Big Ten, Compher had an 18-game point streak earlier in the season and his current plus-minus of +35 is tied for second in the nation.
- Has 13 goals, 39 assists for 52 points in 34 games – has had 16 multiple-point games
- Buffalo draft pick (2nd round – rights traded to Colorado) – Business major
- Led "Grow Blue" team initiative to raise awareness for men's health issues
Kyle Connor – University of Michigan - Freshman, Forward, Shelby Township, Michigan
It has been a brilliant rookie season for Connor. He leads the nation in points and goals and enters the Big Ten playoff tournament with a 23-game point streak intact. His trophy case will have to expand following conference awards of Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, All-Freshman Team, First Team all-conference and Big Ten scoring champion.
- Has 30 goals, 31 assists for 61 points in 34 games – has had 17 multiple-point games
- Winnipeg draft pick (1st round) – has points in 31 of 34 games this season
- His +35 plus-minus ties linemate Compher for 2nd in nation – two-time national rookie of month (December and January)
Thatcher Demko – Boston College – Junior, Goalie, San Diego, California
After allowing a total of three goals in his first two games of the season, Demko then posted an incredible six shutouts in his next seven outings. The Hockey East goalie champion has recorded ten shutouts on the season to lead the nation. Additionally, his .938 save percentage is tied for first in the country while he ranks third in goals against average.
- Currently has a record of 25-6-4 with ten shutouts – Vancouver draft pick (2nd round)
- Has a goals against average of 1.78 (3rd nation) – save percentage of .938 (tie-1st nation)
- Majoring in Applied Psychology – assists with Boston College toy drive
Zac Lynch – Robert Morris University – Senior, Forward, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Playing collegiately in his hometown, Lynch was the Atlantic Hockey scoring champion and earned First Team all-conference honors. His 52 points in 37 games is tied for second in the nation, ignited by starting the season with a 13-game point streak. Dangerous on the penalty kill, Lynch has 8 short-handed goals this season to lead the country.
- Has 24 goals, 28 assists for 52 points in 37 games – has points in 34 of 37 games played
- Majoring in Manufacturing Engineering with 3.9 GPA and is on the Dean's List
- Volunteers time working with Arctic Foxes youth hockey program
Alex Lyon – Yale University – Junior, Goalie, Baudette, Minnesota
Coming off an All American season a year ago when he led the nation in goals against average, save percentage and shutouts, Lyon is having another banner season. Already named First Team All-Ivy League, Lyon's second straight fantastic season has him a finalist for ECAC Goalie of the Year and Player of the Year. His stingy goals against average is second in the nation while his save percentage is tied for first.
- Currently has a record of 19-7-4 with four shutouts – has school record 50 career wins
- Has a goals against average of 1.59 (2nd nation) – save percentage of .938 (tie-1st nation)
- Political Science major – lived on an island in Lake of the Woods until age six
Tyler Motte – University of Michigan – Junior, Forward, St. Clair, Michigan
Motte joins linemates Compher and Connor as the only line to ever become Hobey top ten finalists, giving Michigan the most potent line in college hockey. Motte is sitting second in the nation in goal scoring and fifth in points. A Big Ten First Team all-conference recipient, he had an 18-game point streak and 12-game goal scoring streak earlier in the season.
- Has 29 goals, 21 assists for 50 points in 34 games – has had 14 multiple-point games
- Chicago draft pick (4th round) – scored 18 goals in 69 games during first two seasons
- Sport Management major – helped build a home for Habitat For Humanity
Alex Petan – Michigan Tech University – Senior, Forward, Delta, British Columbia
The lone Canadian in the Hobey top ten this year, Petan (peh-TAN) has already taken home a truckload of hardware from the WCHA including Player of the Year, First Team all-conference and WCHA scoring champion. Petan, the team captain, helped Tech to a share of the WCHA regular season title as the Huskies now enter the playoff tournament with only one loss in 2016.
- Has 18 goals, 15 assists for 33 points in 36 games – has six power play goals
- Sport and Fitness Management major – assists with youth hockey and school visits
- In his 3rd career game, scored a goal which made Sport Center's #3 Play of the Day
Andrew Poturalski– University of New Hampshire – Sophomore, Forward, Williamsville, NY
A break-out campaign for Poturalski (potter-ALL-ski) saw him soar to second in the nation in scoring. Deadly on the power play, Poturalski's 24 points with the man advantage paces the country and helped him to the Hockey East scoring title. Twice named Hockey East Player of the Month, Poturalski last week signed a pro contract as a free agent with the Carolina Hurricanes.
- Finished the season with 22 goals, 30 assists for 52 points in 37 games – had 8 PPGs
- Had 17 goals in first 17 games – 8th in the nation in goals and 7th in assists
- Business Administration major – assists in a variety of community service activities
Ethan Prow – St. Cloud State University – Senior, Defense, Sauk Rapids, Minnesota
The lone defenseman to crack the top ten has had a fabulous finish to his career. Prow led all blueliners in the nation in both points and assists. With the playmaking quarterback on the power play, the Huskies have had one of the best power plays in the nation. Already named First Team all-conference, Prow is a finalist for three more NCHC awards including Player of the Year.
- Has 8 goals, 27 assists for 35 points in 34 games – plus-minus of +29 is 7th in nation
- Team captain and senior CLASS Award candidate – Finance major
- Assists with youth hockey, reads to elementary students, and other service efforts
Jimmy Vesey – Harvard University – Senior, Forward, North Reading, Massachusetts
The sole repeat candidate from last year's Hobey class, Vesey (VEE-zee) continues to perform at an elite level. A prolific scorer, he leads the nation in goals the past two years bagging 55 including 23 this season. A two-time Ivy League Player of the Year, Vesey is a finalist for ECAC Player of the Year, an honor he earned last season. Winner of the Walter Brown Award as the best American-born player in New England last year, he is a finalist again for the fourth straight year.
- Has 23 goals, 21 assists for 44 points in 30 games – speaks fluent Mandarin
- Nashville draft (3rd round) – turned down pro contract to finish his education
- Government major – active in several community service projects
- Nominees by conference: Big 10 – 3, ECAC – 2, Hockey East – 2, NCHC – 1, AHA - 1, WCHA – 1
- By class: Senior 4, Junior 4, Sophomore 1, Freshman 1
- By position: Forward 7, Defense 1, Goalie 2
- By nationality: U.S. - 9 (2 each: Michigan, Minnesota; 1 each: Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, California), Canada - 1 (British Columbia)
- Jimmy Vesey is the only repeat finalist from 2015 (Hobey Hat Trick of three finalists)
- For the first time in Hobey Baker history (36 years) an entire line has been nominated as top ten finalists (Compher, Connor, Motte)
- This is the fourth time a single school has had three finalists, Michigan – other occasions were 1987 Boston College, 1994 Michigan, 2000 Boston College
- Four schools have a finalist for the second straight year: Harvard, Michigan, Robert Morris, Michigan Tech - all six college hockey conferences are represented
- Hobey Baker Award Banquet will be held May 26, 2016 in St. Paul, Minnesota
- Visit www.hobeybakeraward.com or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TheHobey
- The Hobey Baker website also has the top ten video and in-depth bios