Every week this season, Eye on Hockey will be tracking the best players in college hockey as they compete for the ultimate individual prize, the Hobey Baker Memorial Award.
The smell of No. 2 pencil shavings is filling the air at college campuses everywhere during finals week. The end of the semester signifies the halfway point for the college hockey season as well. As the games grow in importance over the coming months, Hobey Baker candidates rise and fall with regularity. Candidacies are solidified in the second half, so things should really start picking up.
The race is already red hot with more players putting themselves in the hunt by the week. The No. 1 spot will remain unchanged here, however, as Johnny Gaudreau stays on top for the third consecutive week. The Boston College sophomore is headed for a long layoff as he prepares for the World Junior Championship, where he is expected to be a key player for Team USA.
That could leave the door wide open for a flurry of other players to break into the conversation. UNH's Kevin Goumas has continued his incredible season for the Wildcats and moved up the No. 2 spot. Bentley's Brett Gensler keeps his name on the list at No. 3 as the nation's scoring leader with 26 points.
New to the Hobey Watch this week is Nebraska-Omaha's Ryan Walters. The junior forward has been on an incredible scoring tear and has the Mavericks contending within the WCHA. He nudges off Kyle Flanagan, who might not be gone for long. Flanagan is still second in the country with 25 points, but he'll have to continually fend off candidates from the bigger conferences to stay in the hunt.
Among the others to watch this week is Niagara's incredible junior goaltender, Carsen Chubak, who is putting up ridiculous numbers. Chubak has helped the Purple Eagles to a surprising 10-2-4 record with a 1.25 goals-against average, .959 save percentage and five shutouts, all national bests. Also keep an eye on Colorado College's Rylan Schwartz. The senior forward is tied for third nationally with 24 points, including 10 goals.
|1. Johnny Gaudreau – Boston College|
|2. Kevin Goumas – New Hampshire|
|3. Brett Gensler – Bentley|
|4. Ryan Walters – Nebraska Omaha|
Others to watch:
Kyle Flanagan – F – Sr. – St. Lawrence
Carsen Chubak – G – Jr. -- Niagara
Rylan Schwartz – F - -Sr. Colorado College
Corban Knight – F – Sr. – North Dakota
Erik Haula – F – Jr. -- Minnesota