Cam Atkinson, Gustav Nyquist and Paul Thompson were all named Hobey Baker Award finalists
The Hobey Baker Award is celebrating its 30th Anniversary and on Thursday announced the top ten candidates for the 2011 award honoring college hockey's top player. Alphabetically, they are: Cam Atkinson, Boston College, Carter Camper, Miami of Ohio, Jack Connolly, Minnesota-Duluth, Matt Frattin, North Dakota, Andy Miele, Miami of Ohio, Gustav Nyquist, Maine, Chase Polacek, Rensselear, Justin Schultz, Wisconsin, Paul Thompson, New Hampshire and Paul Zanette, Niagara.
The ten finalists were selected by voting from all 58 Division I college hockey head coaches and by online fan balloting at www.hobeybakeraward.com. Next, the 23-member Selection Committee and an additional round of fan balloting (at www.hobeybakeraward.com from March 18-27) will determine this year's Hobey Baker winner. Criteria for the award include: strength of character on and off the ice, displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.
The Hobey Hat Trick of three finalists will be announced on March 31, 2011 and the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 8, 2011 from the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., during the NCAA Frozen Four. The announcement will be aired live on ESPNU at 6:00 p.m. CT. Following, in alphabetical order, is a look at each finalist.
Cam Atkinson – Boston College, Junior, Forward, Greenwich, Connecticut
The defending national champions finished atop Hockey East this past season and for the second straight year, Atkinson led his team in scoring. A First Team all-star, he again led Hockey East in conference goals per game and is tied for third nationally in goal scoring with 28 tallies and 20 assists in 36 games.
* Has scored 58 goals the past two seasons – has 8 power play goals
* His 4 shorthanded goals is tied for second in nation – 15 multiple point games
* Communications major – Columbus draft pick
Carter Camper – Miami University of Ohio, Senior, Forward, Rocky River, Ohio
The scoring whiz has been a college hockey rarity, recording over 40 in each of his four seasons. A co- captain, Camper is third in the nation in assists with 35 in 36 games played. A CCHA First Team all-star and the circuit's Scholar-Athlete of the Year award winner, Camper has been very active in community service activities.
* Has recorded 17 goals and 35 assists in 36 games – has scored 8 power play goals
* Hockey Coaches Assoc. Player of the Month for October
* Psychology major with 3.62 GPA – Lowe's Senior Class Award finalist
Jack Connolly – University of Minnesota-Duluth, Junior, Forward, Duluth, Minnesota
The play-making key on college hockey's highest scoring line, Connolly is presently tied for third in the nation in scoring with 54 points and is second in assists with 39. He has been named a WCHA First Team all-star two straight years and has more points in the past two seasons, than any other WCHA player.
* Has scored 15 goals and 39 assists in 37 games – led team in scoring past 2 years
* Finished second in WCHA conference scoring race – played 120 straight games
* Communications major and twice on Dean's list – active community volunteer
Matt Frattin – University of North Dakota, Senior, Forward, Edmonton, Alberta
A great break out season propelled Frattin to the top of WCHA scoring charts and a regular season title for the Sioux. Currently tied for third in the nation in scoring, his 33 goals are best in the country and he is the only player with over 30 goals. He was also named the WCHA Player of the Year and a First Team all-star helping North Dakota to a number one national ranking.
* WCHA scoring champion with 40 points in 28 games – has 10 power play goals
* Overall, has 33 goals and 21 assists – 3 short handed goals leads WCHA
* Recreation and Tourism Studies major – Toronto draft pick
Andy Miele – Miami University of Ohio, Senior, Forward, Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan
The nation's leading scorer by a whopping ten points, Miele won the CCHA conference scoring title with 56 points, the most in 19 years. His 40 league assists was more than the second place player had points, a first in league history. A First Team all-star, Miele is one of three finalists for Player of the Year. National Player of the Month for February.
* Has recorded 21 goals and 44 assists for 65 points in 36 games – assistant captain
* Multiple point games 20 times – has current points streak of 15 straight games
* American Studies major and Coaching minor – active community volunteer
Gustav Nyquist – University of Maine, Junior, Forward, Malmo, Sweden
A repeat candidate and Hobey Hat Trick finalist from last season, Nyquist has led Maine in scoring for two straight years. Named a Hockey East First Team all-star, he is presently tied for seventh in the nation in scoring with 51 points in 36 games. A gifted playmaker, he is tied for fourth in the nation in assists with 33.
* Tallied 18 goals and 33 assists for 51 pints in 36 games – assistant captain
* Won league awards three straight years (First Team twice and Rookie Team)
* Finance major – Detroit draft pick – teaches youth hockey
Chase Polacek – Rennselear Polytechnic Institute, Senior, Forward, Edina, Minnesota
The only other top ten finalist from last season, Polacek has also been named ECAC Player of the Year for the second straight season as well as First Team all-star. He has also won the ECAC scoring title two consecutive seasons and has an amazing nine game winning goals, best in the nation, and has chipped in with 11 power play goals.
* Scoring star had 21 goals and 27 assists in 37 games – assistant captain
* Led team in scoring 3 straight years – Lowe's Senior Class Award finalist
* Business and Management major – multiple Dean's List honoree
Justin Schultz – University of Wisconsin, Sophomore, Defense, West Kelowna, British Columbia
A scoring dynamo on the blue line, Schultz has 18 goals on the season, the most in college hockey in eight years. His 47 total points is seven more than the next closest defenseman and he was honored by the WCHA as a First Team all-star and the circuit's Defensive Player of the Year. Deadly on the power play, his 26 power play points is best in the nation.
* Recorded 18 goals and 29 assists for 47 points in 41 games – 9 power play goals
* Led Wisconsin in scoring and topped the team with 14 multiple point games
* Life Sciences Communications major – Anaheim draft pick
Paul Thompson – University of New Hampshire, Senior, Forward, Derry, New Hampshire
One of the premiere scorers in Hockey East, Thompson led the league in most offensive categories this past season including 42 points in 27 games. Overall, his 52 points is tied for fifth in the country, while his 12 power play goals are tied for first in the nation. Thompson was named Hockey East Player of the Year and a First Team all-star.
* His totals are 28 goals and 24 assists for 52 points in 36 games – 7 game winners
* Tied for third in nation with 28 goals – has 16 multiple point games
* Health Management and Policy major
Paul Zanette – Niagara University, Senior, Forward, Nobleton, Ontario
First Hobey candidate with a last name starting with the letter Z. Phenomenal scoring pace has him second in the nation with 55 points in 35 games. More than doubled his scoring totals from a year ago and won Atlantic Hockey scoring title. That earned him Player of the Year honors as well as First Team all-star. He is second in the nation with 29 goals.
* Has scored 29 goals and 26 assists in 35 games – 10 power play goals
* First three seasons Niagara was in CHA conference
* Graduated Cum Laude in accounting and working on MBA