Adam Gaudette won the Hobey Baker Award on Friday, given annually to the player voted to be the best in NCAA Division I men's ice hockey.
"Coming to Northeastern has been the biggest thing in my life," the Vancouver Canucks forward prospect said in St. Paul, Minnesota, the site of the NCAA Frozen Four. "It helped me to prepare to be a pro, and I can't thank the coaches and the staff enough for that.
"In saying so, my career at Northeastern has come to an end and I am excited to start my career with the Vancouver Canucks."
Video: Hobey Baker award winner Adam Gaudette joins the show
Gaudette, a 21-year-old junior, led the NCAA with 60 points (30 goals, 30 assists) in 38 games this season. He was named Hockey East Player of the Year, Hockey East Player of the Month for January and February, and MVP of the Beanpot tournament. He is the first player from Northeastern to win the award.
Selected No. 149 in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Canucks, Gaudette signed a three-year, entry-level contract March 26. He has no points in four NHL games, including playing 13:04 in a 5-4 overtime win against the Arizona Coyotes in Vancouver on Thursday.
Harvard University center Ryan Donato, who has five goals in 10 games with the Boston Bruins, and University of Denver center Henrik Borgstrom, who made his NHL debut with the Florida Panthers on March 29, were the other finalists.
"I never thought I'd be in this position, but it's an honor, especially since the two other guys are great hockey players," Gaudette said. "I think it could have gone to any one of them."
Donato, a 21-year-old junior, had 43 points (26 goals, 17 assists) in 29 games this season, finishing fourth in the NCAA in goals. He led the United States with five goals in five games at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. Selected in the second round (No. 56) in the 2014 NHL Draft, he signed a three-year, entry-level NHL contract March 14.
Borgstrom, a 20-year-old sophomore, had 52 points (23 goals, 29 assists) in 40 games this season, tied for fourth in the NCAA. Selected by the Panthers in the first round (No. 23) of the 2016 NHL Draft, he was signed to a three-year, entry-level contract March 26 and has no points in two NHL games.
New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher (Denver) won the award last year. New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey (Harvard) won it in 2016, Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (Boston University) won it in 2015, and Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College) won it in 2014.
Video: Adam Gaudette wins the 2018 Hobey Baker Award