It may only be January, but the discussion about this year’s Hobey Baker Award has already begun. Nine members of the men’s hockey team have advanced to the preliminary voting phase of the award, which is given annually to the top college hockey player. Seniors Charlie Cook, Jeremy Downs and Mike Knoepfli, juniors Cam Abbott, Shane Hynes and Matt Moulson, sophomore David McKee, and freshmen Sasha Pokulok and Topher Scott. Each player named to the preliminary list were nominated by at least 25 fans.
“The more popular program you have, the more fan support you have, obviously, the more guys you have on the list,” said Cornell head coach Mike Schafer ’86.
Only four schools have more players than Cornell nominated for the award: Michigan with 12, Minnesota with 11, and Colorado College and New Hampshire with 10 each.
“It’s great to have the fans involved, but it’s probably unfair to some of the programs that might have great players but they don’t have the fans,” Schafer said. “For the most part, the players that are putting up good numbers that deserve to be on it will eventually be on it.”
Among Cornell’s nominees, several have been among the nation’s top performers this season. Moulson is tied for third in the nation with 10 power-play goals this season, a mark which is tops in the ECACHL. He also has four assists on the power play.
McKee leads the nation with a 1.47 goals against average. He’s also fourth in Division I with a .933 save percentage.
“The two guys who deserve recognition down the road will be the guys with the statistics, it’ll be David and Matt,” Schafer said.
“Either one of those guys is going to need to lead the team in order to reach a place on the final ballot, and continue to play well.”
In total, 142 players from 38 teams will appear on the preliminary ballot. The 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker award will be announced on March 6, and the winner will be announced on April 8 at the Frozen Four in Columbus, Ohio.
The final determination of the Hobey Baker award will be made by a vote of the 58 Division I coaches later this season.
Archived article by Owen Bochner
Sun Sports Editor