At least one Boston College Eagles hockey player will be at the Frozen Four this year in Pittsburgh.
The three college hockey players partaking in the “Hobey Hat Trick” festivities usually do.
Boston College sophomore Johnny Gaudreau finds himself in the top three of national voting this year for the Hobey Baker Award, the college hockey most valuable player award. The two other contenders are Quinnipiac goaltender Eric Hartzell and St. Cloud State forward Drew LeBlanc.
The Eagles have not had a Hobey Baker winner since 2000 when Mike Mottau earned it, but will Gaudreau end the dry spell in 2013? First, a look at how each player has done this season:
Gaudreau is the only sophomore in the Hobey Hat Trick; the other two are seniors. All three have had fine seasons and should be proud of what they’ve done.
Looking at this as objectively as possible, in a comparison of forwards, Gaudreau’s numbers are a bit more flashy. LeBlanc got many of his points on the assist, while Gaudreau was much closer to the top in the nation in goals. He also got more points than LeBlanc in fewer games: Gaudreau played in six fewer contests, in part missing a few because of the World Juniors.
Hartzell has great numbers himself and was arguably one of the best goalies in the nation this season. UMass-Lowell’s Connor Hellebuyck might have a case, but he played in almost half as many games as Hartzell. The Quinnipiac netminder deserves to be at the Hobey presentation.
Gaudreau built up the numbers he built in only 35 games, and that was in the face of having had some where he registered no points at all. His ability to make up for lost time this season was remarkable. He should win the award, but that is no guarantee that he will. Hartzell and LeBlanc, each of whom will take to the ice in the Frozen Four, both make strong cases and neither one of their schools has produced a Hobey winner; the allure might exist for voters to give one.
We’ll all find out together on Friday, April 12 at 6pm on NHL Network.