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Quinn Hughes among 10 finalists for Hobey Baker Award

Canucks 2018 first-round pick among those in running to be named college hockey's best player

by Mike. G. Morreale @MikeMorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Quinn Hughes, a defenseman prospect for the Vancouver Canucks who played at the University of Michigan, was one of six players either drafted or signed by an NHL club to be named among the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award on Wednesday.

Hughes, selected in the first round (No. 7) of the 2018 NHL Draft, was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year after he had 33 points (five goals, 28 assists) in 32 NCAA games. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Canucks on March 10 after completing his second NCAA season.

The top three finalists for the 2019 Hobey Baker Award will be named April 4 at 12 p.m. ET, and the winner announced during the NCAA Frozen Four at KeyBank Center in Buffalo on April 12 (6 p.m. ET; NHLN).

The award is presented annually to recognize the top men's player in NCAA hockey.

Among the other finalists are Michigan State University forward Taro Hirose, who agreed to terms on a two-year entry-level contract with the Detroit Red Wings on March 12, made his NHL debut and had an assist for his first NHL point in a 3-2 win at the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

Mercyhurst University defenseman Joseph Duszak (Toronto Maple Leafs), Harvard University defenseman Adam Fox (Carolina Hurricanes), University of Massachusetts defenseman Cale Makar (Colorado Avalanche), and Quinnipiac University defenseman Chase Priskie (Washington Capitals) also are among the group of finalists associated with NHL teams.

Northeastern University center Adam Gaudette, who was selected in the fifth round (No. 149) by the Canucks in the 2015 NHL Draft, won the 2018 Hobey Baker Award after he had 60 points (30 goals, 30 assists) in 38 games. He signed an entry-level contract with the Canucks on March 26, 2018 and made his NHL debut three days later.

The 10 finalists were selected by voting from all 60 Division I college hockey coaches and via online fan balloting.


Here's a closer look at the 10 finalists:

Quinn Hughes, D, Michigan: The 19-year-old left-hand shot, who has an ankle injury and will be re-evaluated in a week before making his NHL debut, is fifth among NCAA defensemen with 28 assists.

Taro Hirose, F, Michigan State: Hirose, a 5-foot-10, 160-pound junior, led NCAA players with 50 points (15 goals, 35 assists) in 36 games at the time he signed with the Red Wings. The 22-year-old, who was born in Winnipeg but raised in Calgary, was named Big Ten Player of the Year.

Joseph Duszak, D, Mercyhurst: Duszak (5-10, 185), a 21-year-old junior, signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Maple Leafs on March 13 that will start next season; he will finish this season with Toronto of the American Hockey League on an amateur tryout contract. He still leads NCAA defensemen with 47 points (16 goals, 31 assists) in 37 games, and was named First Team All-Atlantic Hockey Conference.

Adam Fox, D, Harvard: The 5-foot-11, 181-pound right-hand shot was acquired by the Hurricanes, along with defenseman Dougie Hamilton and forward Micheal Ferland, from the Calgary Flames in a trade for defenseman Noah Hanifin and forward Elias Lindholm on June 23. Fox, a 21-year-old junior, leads all NCAA players in assists (37) and points per game (1.48), and is tied for fourth with 46 points (nine goals, 37 assists). He had 23 power-play points and was named Ivy League Player of the Year.

Cale Makar, D, Massachusetts: Makar, a 20-year-old right-handed shot, was chosen by the Avalanche in the first round (No. 4) of the 2017 NHL Draft. The 5-foot-11, 187-pound sophomore ranked second in the nation in points per game by a defenseman (1.28) and is tied for second among defensemen in plus/minus (plus-30).

Chase Priskie, D, Quinnipiac: The senior right-hand shot was chosen in the sixth round (No. 177) of the 2016 NHL Draft by the Capitals. Priskie (6-0, 192) is the active career leader among NCAA defensemen in goals (39) and points (116), and his 17 goals this season leads all NCAA defensemen. The 23-year-old had 39 points (22 assists) in 34 games and is tied for fourth among NCAA players with 23 power-play points.

Mason Jobst, F, Ohio State: Jobst (5-8, 185), a 25-year-old left-shot center, has 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists) and eight power-play goals in 35 games. The senior was a finalist for Big Ten Player of the Year and is the conference all-time leading scorer with 164 points (69 goals, 95 assists) in 149 games.

Patrick Newell, F, St. Cloud State: Newell (5-9, 175) led the National Collegiate Hockey Conference with 43 points (19 goals, 24 assists) in 38 games. The 23-year-old leads the NCAA with a plus-32 rating.

Jimmy Schuldt, D, St. Cloud State: Schuldt (6-1, 205), a 23-year-old left-hand shot, led NCHC defensemen with 33 points (10 goals, 23 assists) in 36 games. The only repeat Hobey Baker finalist, Schuldt hasn't missed a game during his college career (153 consecutive games played) and is the all-time leader among St. Cloud State defensemen with 116 points (38 goals, 78 assists).

Nico Sturm, F, Clarkson: The 6-3, 211-pound junior center is tied for 10th in the country with 43 points (14 goals, 29 assists) in 36 games, and has won 57.9 percent of his face-offs. A 23-year-old native of Augsburg, Germany, Sturm has been named ECAC Best Defensive Forward the past two seasons.

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