October 10, 2006

The Hobey Baker Memorial Award is presented to a deserving recipient on the day before the last college hockey game of the season. But that doesn’t mean that college hockey fans, players and media members don’t think about it all season. In yet another new coverage item presented by Inside College Hockey for the 2006-07 season, we proudly debut Hobey Tracker with a look at the top three candidates, those whose stock is rising and other players worthy of consideration.

1. Brian Elliott
Senior | Goalie
Last Weekend: Another start, another shutout. Elliott was in goal for Bucky's opener against Northern Michigan in Green Bay and stopped 23 shots in a 3-0 win.
The Buzz: Last year, he was arguably the best player on the nation's best team. Strong efforts against NoDak and BC over the next three weeks, and Elliott becomes the Hobey race's version of Troy Smith.

2. Jonathan Toews
North Dakota
Soph. | Forward

Last Weekend: Three goals and two assists in the Sioux's sweep of Quinnipiac, including a hat trick and a helper Saturday.
The Buzz: He scored 39 points in 44 games last year as a 6-foot-1, 180-pound 17-year-old, but was overshadowed by T.J. Oshie. This year, he's 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds and, based on his effort vs. the Q, poised impose his offensive will on others.
3. Brian Boyle
Boston College
Senior | Forward
Tuesday: Two goals and two assists for the towering pivot as the nation's top-ranked team eased past Northeastern.
The Buzz: Prior to last season's 52-point breakout effort, Boyle only scored 35 points in 75 career games. Can he repeat the effort without the help of Chris Collins and Stephen Gionta? Based on opening night, it appears he can.

Joe Fallon

Although it may not seem like it, INCH knows there are players in college hockey not named Joe Fallon. At this point, he deserves all of the praise he's been given. His outstanding start at the Ice Breaker Invitational has people nationwide talking about him.
Reid Cashman
For players with Hobey hopes who don't often play on a big stage, games against a top opponent in their 11,000-seat Taj Mahal of a rink is a prime chance to make a statement. Cashman, who was scoreless and minus-5 at NoDak last weekend, squandered that opportunity.
Niagara's talented trio Most of you are unfamiliar with Niagara forwards Sean Bentoviglio, Ted Cook and Les Reaney, but it wouldn't be a shock to see one of them among the 10 Hobey finalists. Linemates Cook and Reaney each tallied 40 points as freshmen last season, while Bentoviglio, a senior, had 38 points in 33 games. In the Purps' split at Clarkson (loss) and St. Lawrence (win), each player garnered four points – Cook had 2-2—4, while the other two had 1-3—4.