In following up with the recently-published conference midseason reports, Inside College Hockey figured this lull in the schedule would be a great time to reflect on the first half from an awards perspective, and so we present the first edition of the Hobey Tracker for the 2011-12 campaign. We’ll look at a group of seven standouts (listed alphabetically) who have established themselves as top candidates so far, and mention six more worthy of consideration.
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 year long. Inside College Hockey’s Hobey Tracker looks at our picks for the top candidates and other players worthy of discussion.
|THE BIG BOARD
Minnesota, So., F
20 GP, 16-11–27
Bjugstad was a fast-starter this season with six goals and 11 points in the Gophers’ first seven games. He gets his points in bunches, with 10 multi-point nights in 20 games, but he’s also been held off the scoresheet entirely in five other games.
Minnesota Duluth, Sr., F
18 GP, 12-17–29
A finalist for this award last year, Connolly has shown that he’s as dynamic on his own as he was with one of the nation’s top lines for the national champs last year. He had an impressive total of 13 points through 10 games this season, but heated up with 16 points in the Bulldogs’ last eight contests, as UMD continues to roll.
Ohio State, Sr., G
11-2-1, 2.11 GAA, .926 sv. pct.
The Buckeyes have been one of the biggest surprises in the first half of the season, and Heeter has played a big role in that success. He’s given up two or fewer goals in 10 of his 15 starts and has seven starts in which he’s allowed a goal or less.
Boston College, So., F
18 GP, 12-11–23
Kreider started his season strongly in leading Boston College to a pair of wins at the IceBreaker tournament, and has continued to post steady point totals in a very consistent year. He has points in 16 of BC’s 18 games so far, but has just five multi-point games on the season.
Wisconsin, Jr., D
18 GP, 9-19–28
A 2011 Hobey finalist after leading the nation’s defensemen with 18 goals and 47 points, Schultz is on pace to surpass both totals this season. He’s scored at least one point in all but two of the Badgers’ 18 games, and enters the holiday break having scored five goals in his last four games.
Colgate, Sr., F
17 GP, 18-10–28
Arguably, the front-runner for the Hobey at this point in the season, Smith is meeting some of the high expectations that accompanied him to Colgate for a resurgent Raider team. He’s the nation’s leading scorer, has five short-handed goals on the year, and has at least two points in eight of 17 games played.
Notre Dame, So., F
20 GP, 7-20–27
Tynan has cooled after a blistering start—he notched 14 points in the Irish’s first seven games—but he’s still producing at a good enough clip to rank tied for third in the country in scoring. Though he’s more playmaker than sniper, Notre Dame is 6-1 this season when he scores a goal.
|IN THE CONVERSATION|
Danny Biega, Harvard; Joe Cannata, Merrimack; Kyle De Laurell, Air Force; Paul Karpowich, Clarkson; Rylan Schwartz, Colorado College; Jason Zucker, Denver