Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Who Will Win the Hobey?

The 2007 Hobey Baker Award will be announced on April 6th, the day before the National Championship Game. Maybe the winner will be playing the next day, maybe not. This year's Hobey Hat Trick finalists are an unheralded scrapper, a goalie with a legitimate shot to win, and the second leading scorer in the country.

The Candidate: Ryan Duncan, Sophomore Forward, North Dakota

The Stats: 31 goals, 26 assists, 17 power-play goals.
What to Like: Playing alongside two bigger names in T.J. Oshie and Johnathan Toews, it's Duncan, who hasn't been drafted, who has stood out. Duncan leads the WCHA in scoring, and was named the conference's player of the year. His 17 power play goals lead the country.

What Not to Like: Duncan's size certainly brings up some question marks, and you have to wonder how much he benefits from the attention that gets placed on his linemates. And, as we saw last year with Denver defenseman Matt Carle winning the Hobey, it usually goes to the best player and not just the best stats.

The Candidate: David Brown, Senior goaltender, Notre Dame

The Stats: 1.58 GAA, .931 Save Pct.
What to Like: Brown was a major factor in the Irish rising to the #1 ranking in the country this year, and them getting a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Without Brown in net, Notre Dame probably would have been upset by Alabama-Huntsville in the first round of the NCAA tournament. His 1.58 GAA and .931 Save Percentage are both top 5 in the country.

What Not to Like: Sure Brown has a 1.58 GAA, but Coach Jeff Jackson's style dictates that the goalie doesn't face many shots. In fact, Brown rarely faced over 20 shots a game. In a chance to really separate himself from the other elite goalies, John Curry of BU and Bobby Goepfert of St. Cloud State, Brown's Irish lost to CCHA rivals Michigan St. in the regional final.

The Candidate: Eric Ehn, Junior forward, Air Force
The Stats: 24 goals, 40 assists
What to Like: Ehn, the first Hobey Hat Trick finalist from either of college hockey's "mid major" conferences, College Hockey America and Atlantic Hockey, (Ehn's Falcons play in Atlantic Hockey) is second in the nation in scoring at 1.60 points per game. His Falcons nearly upset the #1 overall seed Minnesota in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
What Not to Like: Playing in Atlantic Hockey, Ehn doesn't face as stiff of competition as he would if he played in a stronger conference (think playing Canisius and Army vs. playing Minnesota and Wisconsin). Also, as outlined with Ryan Duncan, the best stats don't always win the Hobey.

The Winner: The only player that stood out in the NCAA tournament, and the only player still playing, Ryan Duncan will be the 2007 Hobey Baker Award winner, just the second ever from North Dakota.


grittysquirrels said...

I like Duncan to win it too...or maybe i just really want him to...I can't tell which.

grittysquirrels said...

and really, considering that Duncan already won player of the year I think it is going to be really tough for them not to give him the hobey too.

Anonymous said...

How can you give it to anyone besides David Brown. He lead a mediocre team to a number one seed because of his steller play. Duncan was just a part of a trio of players for the soiux that were all real good.

stephen a said...

Duncan just won: that's how you can give it to somebody other than Brown

grittysquirrels said...

Well deserved i believe too....nice work fetch.

Leah said...

Hell yeah Duncs!! I was there when they announced it!

Congrats kiddo, well deserved!!

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