November 21, 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 introduce Hobey Tracker with a look at the top three candidates, those whose stock is rising, and other players worthy of consideration.


1. Michel
Senior | Forward

Last Week: Two goals and one assist in the Black Bears' come-from-ahead loss to Boston College Sunday.
The Buzz: Despite the disappointing outcome against the Eagles, Léveillé was the best player on the ice Sunday. He scored his first goal on a seeing-eye shot from just inside the blue line, and got his second by one-timing a nifty feed from Billy Ryan. He also set up Mike Hamilton's second-period goal.
2. Nathan Davis
Junior | Forward
Last Week: Two goals and three assists as the RedHawks swept Nebraska-Omaha in Oxford.
The Buzz: Davis is poised to turn these ratings into a 1A-1B scenario as opposed to a 1-2 approach. He ranks among the nation's best in points (second), goals (tied for third), assists (tied for third), power-play goals (tied for seventh), and shorthanded goals (tied for first.) And he's only taken four minor penalties in the process.

3. David Brown
Notre Dame
Senior | Goalie

Last Week: 26 saves in a 4-1 win vs. Michigan State; 15 saves in a 2-0 loss at Michigan State.
The Buzz: Saturday's start, which came on the heels of a fine performance against the Spartans at the Joyce Center, was only the second clunker of the year for Brown. This weekend, he and the Irish get to face a reeling Nebraska-Omaha team that's winless in its last seven games (0-5-2).

Brian Boyle
Boston College

Mr. Boyle, we were awfully critical a few weeks ago of your tendency to disappear in games of relative importance. Your effort against Maine Sunday – a goal and two assists, one of which set up linemate Joe Rooney's game-winning tally in overtime – was impressive. After scoring three points (all assists) in seven games between Oct. 20-Nov. 7, you've got six points in your last three outings. Keep up the good work over the next three weeks in games against New Hampshire, Boston University, and UMass and you won't just be knocking on the door of the Big Board. You're liable to kick the sucker in.
Jonathan Toews
North Dakota
It's tough to be too hard on Toews, who missed three games after being injured in a loss to Maine in Grand Forks Oct. 20. And though he's scoring at a point-a-game clip (nine point in nine games) it must be noted that three of his goals and one assist came in the team's win against Quinnipiac Oct. 7. The see-sawing Sioux have scored two or fewer goals in half of their games this season; that's very un-North Dakota-like. As much as more scoring from Toews would boost his Hobey hopes, it's absolutely imperative he start producing offensively if North Dakota hopes to stay afloat in the ultra-competitive WCHA.
Brandon Wong
Talk of Wong contending for Hobey honors this year is probably a bit premature, but thanks in part to the efforts of the ECAC Hockey League's leader in goals (10) and points (16), Quinnipiac is perched atop the conference standings in just its second year in the circuit. With two goals and three assists in wins against Colgate and Cornell last weekend, the Victoria, B.C., native extended his point streak to seven games. Wong and the rest of the Bobcats face another stern test this weekend as they face Harvard and Dartmouth on the road.