March 13, 2007

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. Inside College Hockey's Hobey Tracker looks at the top three candidates for the award as well as the seven players we think will comprise the 10-player list of finalists.


1. Ryan Duncan
North Dakota
Soph. | Forward

Last Week: One goal in both of North Dakota's wins against Minnesota State in the first round of the WCHA tournament.
The Buzz: Duncan just keeps chuggin' along. He's scored just three points (two goals and an assist) in North Dakota's last four games, but he's got at least one point in 12 of the Fighting Sioux's last 13 contests. Getting his team to the WCHA championship game — among the biggest non-NCAA Tournament stages in college hockey — and playing well will only enhance his candidacy.

2. T.J. Hensick
Senior | Forward

Last Week: Three goals, three assists, +6 plus-minus rating in the Wolverines' sweep of Northern Michigan in a CCHA playoff quarterfinal series.
The Buzz: Hensick had a huge weekend against Northern Michigan, and he extended his current scoring streak to five games — he's got six goals and five assists during that span. Michigan State, the Wolverines' opponent in Friday's CCHA playoff semifinal, has been fairly effective in keeping Hensick bottled up. Excluding a four-point effort vs. the Spartans in Ann Arbor Nov. 4, he's scored a goal and two assists in four games against MSU.

3. David Brown
Notre Dame
Senior | Goalie

Last Week: Stopped 37 of the 39 shots he faced in Notre Dame's two wins over Alaska in a CCHA playoff quarterfinal series.
The Buzz: The biggest challenge to Brown's Hobey candidacy might be the guys who play in front of him. The Fighting Irish have done a marvelous job of limiting the number of shots their goalie faces night in and night out. In nine starts dating back to Feb. 2, Brown has faced more than 22 shots once — a shutout win at Alaska Feb. 16 — and he's made fewer than 20 saves on six occasions during that span.

Drew Bagnall
St. Lawrence
Senior | Defense

The Buzz: Bagnall probably falls into the category of being more of an MVP than a true Hobey Baker candidate that puts up huge points and gets great publicity. But he deserves to be on this list. He's been the best player on the best team in the ECAC Hockey League.

John Curry
Boston University
Senior | Goalie

The Buzz: Curry's play has fallen off since a stellar run through late January and early February in which he posted four shutouts in four weeks. He's been a big part of Boston University's success all year and will be among the ten finalists.

Nathan Davis
Junior | Forward

The Buzz: The top-10 finalists were determined long before Miami's early exit from the CCHA playoffs, and Davis was an excellent two-way forward all season. He stands sixth in the country in scoring with 49 points.

Eric Ehn
Air Force
Junior | Forward

The Buzz: Ranking as the nation's leading scorer for the majority of the year gets you into the top 10 when the Hobey Finalists are announced. His numbers are impressive. With 62 points he's tied with Michigan's Hensick for the national scoring lead.

Bobby Goepfert
St. Cloud State
Senior | Goalie

The Buzz: Goepfert's numbers don't quite match up to those of David Brown and John Curry, but like that tandem, Goepfert's been fantastic on a team that's had sustained success throughout the year. His save percentage of .932 ranks only behind New Hampshire's Kevin Regan, Jeff Jakaitis of Lake Superior State, and Curry.

Scott Parse
Senior | Forward

The Buzz: The senior forward benefits from his strong junior campaign that put him in the national spotlight and made him a known commodity for a stellar senior season. He had 52 points this year and finished his career with 197 points, leaving Omaha as the program's all-time leading scorer.

Trevor Smith
New Hampshire
Soph. | Forward

The Buzz: Smith was stellar out of the gate and is the leading scorer on one of the top teams in the nation. The detractors will point to the fact that his production slipped in the second half. After scoring 30 points in his first 20 games, he had just 12 points over his last 16 games.