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Caufield among 10 finalists for Hobey Baker Award

Canadiens forward prospect leads NCAA with 28 goals, 49 points in 30 games for Wisconsin

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Cole Caufield, a Montreal Canadiens forward prospect in his second season at the University of Wisconsin, was announced as one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award on Wednesday.

The Hobey Baker Award is presented annually to recognize the top NCAA men's hockey player.

The three finalists for the 2021 Hobey Baker Award will be revealed April 1, and the winner announced April 9.

Caufield, chosen No. 15 by the Canadiens in the 2019 NHL Draft, was named Big Ten Player of the Year on Tuesday. The 20-year-old leads all NCAA players with 28 goals and 49 points in 30 games.

Eight of the 10 finalists have been drafted by NHL teams. Along with Caufield are Boston College goalie Spencer Knight (Florida Panthers) and forward Matthew Boldy (Minnesota Wild), Wisconsin forward Dylan Holloway (Edmonton Oilers), Boston University defenseman David Farrance (Nashville Predators), University of Minnesota goalie Jack LaFontaine (Carolina Hurricanes), Quinnipiac University goalie Keith Petruzzelli (Detroit Red Wings), and University of North Dakota forward Shane Pinto (Ottawa Senators).

The 10 candidates were selected by voting from all 61 NCAA Division I college hockey coaches and via online fan balloting.

Here's a closer look at the 10 candidates (listed in alphabetical order):

Matthew Boldy, F, Boston College: The 19-year-old sophomore (6-foot-2, 196 pounds), selected by the Wild with the No. 12 pick in the 2019 draft, is third in Hockey East with 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) in 20 games, and is tied for the NCAA lead with three shorthanded goals. He scored seven points (five goals, two assists) in seven games to help the United States win the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Cole Caufield, F, Wisconsin: Caufield (5-7, 162) has scored 85 points (47 goals, 38 assists) in 66 games in two NCAA seasons. Caufield, who led the Big Ten with 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in 24 conference games last season, is the first Big Ten player to win back-to-back conference scoring titles. This season he leads all NCAA players in power-play goals (10) and shots on goal (152), and is tied for first in power-play points (22).

David Farrance, D, Boston University: Farrance (5-11, 189) scored 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 10 games as a senior alternate captain and was named a Hockey East First-Team All-Star for the second straight season. A third-round pick (No. 92) by the Predators in the 2017 NHL Draft, the 21-year-old has scored 88 points (26 goals, 62 assists) in 112 NCAA games in four college seasons.

Dylan Holloway, F, Wisconsin: Holloway (6-1, 203) was an All-Big Ten First Team selection after he scored 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 22 games. The 19-year-old sophomore who was selected by the Oilers at No. 14 in the 2020 draft also scored three game-winning goals and is fourth among NCAA players with 16 power-play points (four goals, 12 assists).

Spencer Knight, G, Boston College: The sophomore (6-3, 192) held opponents to two goals or fewer in 11 of his 19 starts, and he is 16-2-1 with a 1.99 goals-against average, three shutouts and .937 save percentage. The 19-year-old, selected by the Panthers with the No. 13 pick of the 2019 draft, was named Hockey East Player of the Year and Goalie of the Year.

Jack LaFontaine, G, Minnesota: Chosen by the Hurricanes in the third round (No. 75) of the 2016 NHL Draft, the 23-year-old has held opponents to two goals or fewer in 21 of his 27 starts and is 21-6-0 with a 1.74 GAA, five shutouts and a .936 save percentage. The senior (6-2, 204) was named Big Ten Goalie of the Year and was a First Team All-Big Ten selection.

Dryden McKay, G, Minnesota State: McKay (5-11, 175), who is undrafted, is 19-2 in 22 games, with an NCAA-best nine shutouts. The 23-year-old has 23 shutouts in his three college seasons, second in NCAA history behind Ryan Miller of Michigan State (26). The junior was named Western Collegiate Hockey Association Goalie of the Year for the second consecutive season after posting a 1.25 GAA and a .937 save percentage.

Keith Petruzzelli, G, Quinnipiac: Selected by the Red Wings in the third round (No. 88) of the 2017 draft, the senior was fourth among NCAA goalies with a 1.78 GAA while starting all 27 games for Quinnipiac. The 22-year-old (6-5, 185) is 17-6 with four ties, a .929 save percentage and four shutouts. He has started 52 straight games the past two seasons.

Shane Pinto, F, North Dakota: Selected by the Senators in the second round (No. 32) of the 2019 draft, the 20-year-old was third among National Collegiate Hockey Conference players with 30 points (15 goals, 15 assists) in 26 games. Pinto was named NCHC Player of the Year and was the first player in conference history to be named Forward of the Year and Defensive Forward of the Year. He scored seven power-play goals and won 61.8 percent of his face-offs.

Odeen Tufto, F, Quinnipiac: The senior captain (5-7, 175), who is undrafted, leads NCAA Division I players in assists (38), assists per game (1.41), power-play assists (20), and face-off winning percentage (63.1 percent), and is tied with Caufield for first in power-play points (22). Tufto's 44 points in 27 games are second to Caufield among NCAA players. The 24-year-old is Quinnipiac's all-time leader in assists (128) and is second in points (165) since the program moved to Division I in 1998.

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