April 22, 2004
10 For '05: The Hobey

We're only two weeks removed from the 2004 national championship game, but here at Inside College Hockey we can't resist casting our gaze toward the future. A lot can change between now and the drop of the puck in October, but that doesn't stop our 10 For '05 feature.

We already took an early look at the top 10 teams headed into next season; in the coming days we'll offer our thoughts on 10 big questions headed into next season. Today we take a very early glance at 10 candidates for the 2005 Hobey Baker Award.



Keith Ballard
When he was injured, Minnesota slumped. When he was healthy, the Gophers won, thanks in no small part to his team-high 5 GWGs. With the departures of Grant Potulny and Co., Ballard becomes the team's leader. Will his play suffer?
Brandon Bochenski
North Dakota
Pessimists will allege that Bochenski's numbers will drop without running mate Zach Parise. Optimists will note that Bochenski had more goals, assists, points, power play goals, shorthanded goals and game-winning goals in 2003-04 than Parise.
Chris Conner
Michigan Tech
The sophomore scored more than one-quarter of the Huskies' goals last season. Heck, the shifty Conner had 14 special teams goals (6 PPGs, 8 SHGs). Linemate Colin Murphy was second among Huskies skaters with 15 total goals.
Patrick Eaves
Boston College
Close Eagles watchers saw more tools in Eaves than anyone else on the roster, including graduated former Hobey finalists Ben Eaves and Tony Voce. Stay healthy and away from bad penalties, and he edges teammate Ryan Shannon for a spot on this list.
Jim Howard
The postseason was a fantastic coming-out party for Howard. After splitting time for most of two years, he's emerged as the leading man – both in the nets and overall – for the Black Bears.
Evan Schwabe
Minnesota Duluth
Like Bochenski at North Dakota, he's got to show he can produce without a Hobey finalist alongside him. But as Wild fans know, there can be hockey life in Minnesota after a star moves to Dallas.
Jim Slater
Michigan State
One of three returning Hobey finalists, Slater can do it all. In his second year as captain, he should lead the Spartans back to their familiar level on the national stage.
Lee Stempniak
Plain and simple, the best offensive player in the ECAC. Coach Bob Gaudet loves his all-around game as well. Will serve as the Big Green's captain for the upcoming season.
Jeff Tambellini
How can a guy who finished sixth on his team in scoring last season be considered a Hobey Baker candidate in 2005? Because we expect Tambellini to approach the 26-19—45 he posted in his rookie season, not the 15-12—27 he scored as a sophomore.
Thomas Vanek
There's no one in the college game with more talent than Vanek. On the other hand, there's no one that takes more shifts off than he does. If he can sleepwalk his way to 51 points as he did last season, just think what he could do with a little fire in his belly.

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