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Pair of Wings picks are Hobey finalists

by Lisa Hickok / Detroit Red Wings
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DETROIT -- Two Red Wings' draft picks have been selected as finalists for the 2010 Hobey Baker Award honoring college hockey’s top player.

Maine forward Gustav Nyquist and Wisconsin defenseman Brendan Smith are among 10 student-athletes that are finalists for the award.  
In Detroit, the site of this year's NCAA Frozen Four, the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation on Thursday announced the top 10 candidates for the 2010 Hobey Baker Award.

Besides Nyquist and Smith, the other finalists are Bobby Butler, New Hampshire; Marc Cheverie, Denver; Blake Geoffrion, Wisconsin; Mark Olver, Northern Michigan; Chase Polacek, Rensselear; Rhett Rakhshani, Denver; Cody Reichard, Miami of Ohio; and Ben Scrivens, Cornell.
The finalists were selected by voting from all 58 Division I college hockey head coaches and by online fan balloting at The 24-member Selection Committee and an additional round of online fan balloting from March 19-28 will determine this year’s Hobey Baker winner.

Criteria for the award includes, strength of character on and off the ice, displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.
The Hobey Hat Trick of three finalists will be announced on March 31, and the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced April 9 from Detroit's Ford Field, during the Frozen Four. The announcement will be aired live on ESPNU at 7 p.m. EDT.
Gustav Nyquist, University of Maine, Sophomore Forward, Malmo, Sweden: For the second straight year, this scoring whiz has led his team in points and this year has expanded his horizon to lead the entire nation with 59 points and in assists with 41 - all that in 37 games played. Nyquist was runner-up for Hockey East Player of the Year and was selected to the league First Team. Tied for first in Hockey East scoring - 41 points.
  • The second-year student is on the Dean’s List majoring in Finance
  • Maine is number one in power play conversion at 28percent
  • All Tourney at Florida College Classic – Detroit draft pick
Brendan Smith, University of Wisconsin, Junior Defenseman, Mimico, Ontario: The lone defenseman in the top ten happens to be 19th overall in the nation in scoring while topping all defensemen in college hockey.  He helped lead the high-scoring Badgers to number two in the nation in offense and earned Smith First Team WCHA and Defensive Player of the Year honors. 
  • Has 15 goals and 29 assists for 44 points in 36 games – 11 power play goals
  • Detroit draft pick – Sociology major
  • Topped the WCHA in points, goals and assists by a defensemen
Mark Olver, Northern Michigan University, Junior Forward, Burnaby, British Columbia: Feasting on CCHA opponents, Olver led the conference in points and was tied for first in goals while leading his Wildcats in scoring for the third straight year.  Selected as a First Team CCHA all-star, Olver was also a finalist for Player of the Year.  His play in February helped elevate the Wildcats from tenth to a fourth place league finish. 
  • Has 19 goals and 28 assists for 47 points in 37 games – tied 11th nation points
  • Physical Education/Coaching Major – Colorado draft pick
  • CCHA Player of the Month in February – Player of the Week three times
Cody Reichard, Miami University of Ohio, Sophomore Goalie, Celina, Ohio: Miami’s dominance in the CCHA this season was due to the fact no one could beat Reichard who went 15-0-2 in conference play while leading virtually every goalie category, allowing only 21 goals in 17 games.  Those efforts propelled him to number one in the nation in goals against average and third in save percentage.
  • Currently is 18-3-3 overall – has 1.64 GAA – has .930 save percentage
  • Has 5 shutouts – First Team CCHA all-star – Player of the Year finalist
  • Finance major – Miami first in nation in team defense
Bobby Butler, University of New Hampshire, Senior Forward, Marlboro, Massachusetts: Evolving into a prolific goal scorer, Butler leads the nation in goal scoring with 27 in 37 games to date and was honored by Hockey East as their Player of the Year. The 21 goals he bagged in 27 conference games topped the league while his 50 points on the season is sixth best in the nation. His break-out season included a First Team all-star berth.
  • Has 27 goals and 23 assists for 50 points in 37 games – 7 power play goals
  • Tied for first in Hockey East points with 41 – Walter Brown Award finalist
  • Finalist for Hockey Humanitarian Award – Health Management Major
Marc Cheverie, University of Denver, Junior Goalie, Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia: An unbelievable year has earned Cheverie the WCHA Player of the Year honors and he is the national leader in save percentage, wins and shutouts while sitting second in winning percentage and third in goals against average.  Was the WCHA Goalie Champion with a 2.05 GAA and .934 save percentage.
  • Currently is 24-4-3 overall – has 1.94 GAA – has .937 save percentage
  • Earned 6 shutouts – All Tourney at Wells Fargo Denver Cup tourney
  • All Academic with 3.5 GPA in Finance - draft choice of Florida
Blake Geoffrion, University of Wisconsin, Senior Forward, Brentwood, Tennessee: The second-year captain has been especially strong in WCHA play. Geoffrion leads the conference in goals with 19, power play goals with 11 and is second in points with 34, all good enough to garner First Team all-star honors. He has an amazing 23% shooting percentage and is a great penalty killer. He’s a Consumer Science major.
  • His dad Danny, granddad Bernie “Boom Boom” and great grandpa Howie Morenz all played for Montreal Canadiens – Boomer and Howie are enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame and have 9 Stanley Cups between them
  • Has 23 goals and 18 assists for 41 points in 34 games – Nashville draft pick
Chase Polacek, Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, Junior Forward, Edina, Minnesota: Top-gun in the ECAC this past season was RPI’s leading scorer Chase Polacek.  Pacing the conference in scoring, he was named Player of the Year and a First Team all-star.  He ranks third in the nation in both points (52) and goals (26). 
  • Has 26 goals and 26 assists for 52 points in 39 games – first RPI finalist in 8 years
  • Second in the nation with 13 power play goals – has one-third of RPI  PPG’s
  • Business and Management Major with 3.4 GPA – All Academic three years
Rhett Rakhshani, University of Denver, Senior Forward, Huntington Beach, California: The senior captain has led the Pioneers to the top of the national rankings and has done so in the highly competitive WCHA where Rakhshani led the conference in points, earning First Team all star honors in the process as DU finished in first place.  His 49 points in 38 games is seventh best in the nation and he is especially dangerous on the power play.
  • Had 16 multiple-point games – has 20 goals and 29 assists in 38 games
  • Majoring in Management with 3.5 GPA – All Academic three years
  • NY Islanders draft pick - Volunteers with four organizations
Ben Scrivens, Cornell University, Senior Goalie, Spruce Grove, Alberta: Being number two is pretty good, Scrivens is second in the nation in goals against average, second in the nation in save percentage and second in shutouts, helping his team to second place in the ECAC standings with the second best team defense in the nation.  However he is a definite number one in ECAC league games leading all major categories and is a candidate for Player of the Year. 
  • Currently is 19-8-4 overall – has 1.89 GAA – has .933 save percentage
  • Earned 5 shutouts – First Team all-star in ECAC and Ivy League
  • Three-year regular starter – Hotel Administration major
  • Nominees by conference are: WCHA 4,  Hockey East 2, CCHA 2, ECAC 2,
  • By class nominees are: Senior 4, Junior 4, Sophomore 2
  • By position nominees are: forwards 6, goalies 3, defensemen 1
  • By nationality nominees are: U.S. 5 (Minnesota, Ohio, California, Tennessee, Massachussetts-1 each), Canada 4 (Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia-1 each), Sweden 1
  • Hobey Baker Award Banquet will be held May 6, 2010 at 317 On Rice Park in St. Paul, Minnesota

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