Hobey Baker Watch: Week 2

Story posted October 17, 2019 in Sports, CommRadio by Jack McCune

College hockey is beginning to heat up as Week 2 approaches, but the Hobey Baker Award race is still wide open. Every year, the Hobey Baker Award is given to the best player in college hockey. Before the end of each season, the NCAA selects 10 nominees for the award. It’s way too early to narrow the list down, but these three players are having impressive seasons so far and are in the conversation.

Cole Caufield, Wisconsin

The preseason favorite for the award hasn’t changed anyone’s mind yet. The freshman Cole Caufield has already tallied four goals for the Badgers in the first two games of the season at Boston College and Merrimack. He is undisputedly the “Zion Williamson” of this year’s college hockey season.

Although he could potentially produce one of the best seasons for a player in the history of college hockey, Caufield dropped to No. 15 in the 2019 NHL draft where he was selected by the Montreal Canadiens. If he keeps up the pace, he will prove all the doubters wrong.

As they are currently ranked No. 17 in the nation, the Badgers would miss the NCAA Tournament by one spot if play started today. This should be even more inspiration for Caufield to produce when his team needs him to. For now, he’s on pace to win the award.

Mitchell Chaffee, UMass

The Minutemen failed to score a single goal in the NCAA Tournament championship last season when they were shutout by Minnesota Duluth. But junior Mitchell Chaffee has not experienced any “championship hangover” this season, posting two goals and an assist on the stat sheet already.

The junior is on pace to put up similar, if not better, stats as last season, in which he tallied 18 goals and 24 assists. Playing for a team with championship aspirations, Mitchell Chaffee has the chance to put up great numbers on a great team, which will allow him to stand out in the eyes of the award voters.

Greg Printz, Providence

As the first player to put up five goals this season, Printz is not only the statistical frontrunner for the Hobey Baker Award, but he would also be in the running for most improved player, if there were an award for that. The junior only needs six more goals to tie his career best in a season with 11 and six more assists to tie his career best of seven.

The No. 13 Friars are looking to make a splash in the NCAA Tournament this year, as they were knocked out by Minnesota Duluth in the semifinals last season, but they’ve already lost to unranked Holy Cross this season, leaving their postseason hopes in question. But if Printz can lead his team to victories with his elite scoring ability all season long, expect him to be in the conversation for college hockey’s MVP come April.

 

Jack McCune is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jxm1237@psu.edu.