October 17, 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 Week: Stopped 52 of 55 North Dakota shots over the course of two nights but only earned one win. His 27-save shutout effort in Saturday's win salvaged a split for the Badgers.
The Buzz: He's clearly the best goaltender in the nation at this point. Defenders of Cory Schneider and John Curry must admit that for the present, as Schneider and Curry allowed four goals each against mediocre opposition.

2. Brian Boyle
Boston College
Senior | Forward

Last Week: One goal against the U.S. Under-18s as Boston College won 5-4.
The Buzz: We suspect that it was hard for the nation's No. 1 team to get entirely motivated against several players that eventually want to take their playing time at BC.
3. Jonathan Toews
North Dakota
Soph. | Forward
Last Week: No points as the Sioux split a series at Wisconsin.
The Buzz: Elliott will keep a lot of high-level scorers at bay this year. Toews had a chance to make a Hobey statement early in the year on a weekend that lacked a lot of marquee games around the nation. Elliott seized the opportunity, Toews did not.

Bret Tyler

You could've gotten a good price on Tyler ranking as the Black Bears' leading scorer after three games. He entered the season with 30 total points in two years and then racked up six assists in two games against Bemidji State. Hobey voters always consider high-scoring defensemen, and with some consistency Tyler might fit that mold this season.
Ryan Dingle
There's nothing wrong with Dingle's game, it would seem, as he has a point per game (2-2—4 in 4 GP) after his breakout 27-goal season a year ago. But the Pioneers lost a talented setup winger in J.D. Corbin, who is injured and out for the regular season. Corbin had three assists this season and 15 a year ago. His loss doesn't figure to help Dingle.
Eric Ehn
Air Force
We shouldn't be surprised to see that Ehn has seven points through four games this season, as he averaged more than a point per game as a sophomore last year. Now a junior, Ehn leads the Falcons' transition to play in Atlantic Hockey and may have the best of both worlds, if you believe in this sort of thing: He's on a western-based team, playing in a league comprised of eastern-based opponents.