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.
There is a new No. 1 on the Hobey Watch this week as Ryan Walters of Nebraska Omaha supplants Johnny Gaudreau at the top spot. Walters posted five points last weekend against Colorado College and now leads the country with 33 points, including a national high 13 goals.
The Hobey Watch also has a very WCHA feel this week. Though the conference as a whole has had a middling season in the standings, there have been multiple individuals performing at a high level. There are three WCHA players on this week's list including Walters, North Dakota's Corban Knight and St. Cloud State's Drew LeBlanc. In addition to the trio in our top four, there's also Danny Kristo, also of UND, as well as currently-injured Erik Haula and Nick Bjugstad, both from Minnesota, who each still have a shot at figuring into the Hobey race in a prominent way.
The lone non-WCHA player on the list this week is Gaudreau, who spent the last two weeks with the U.S. National Junior Team, which won gold at the World Junior Championship. Gaudreau's WJC performance won't count for his Hobey chances, but he continues to wow the hockey world with his immense skill and should remain a factor in this race all year.
As a side note, the Hobey Baker Memorial Award first phase of fan voting is underway on the award's official site. You can vote for your favorite candidates here.
|1. Ryan Walters -- Nebraska Omaha|
|2. Johnny Gaudreau -- Boston College|
|3. Corban Knight -- North Dakota|
|4. Drew LeBlanc -- St. Cloud State|
Others to watch:
Brett Gensler -- F -- Jr. -- Bentley
Kevin Goumas -- F -- Jr. -- New Hampshire
Kyle Flanagan -- F -- Sr. -- St. Lawrence
Carsen Chubak -- G -- Jr. -- Niagara
Erik Haula -- F -- Jr. -- Minnesota