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Wings' Nyquist a Hobey finalist

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT -- Red Wings prospect and Maine sophomore forward Gustav Nyquist is one of three finalists for the 2010 Hobey Baker Award given annually to the top American collegiate hockey player.

The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation made the announcement on Wednesday.

The other two finalists, both senior forwards, are New Hampshire's Bobby Butler and Wisconsin's Blake Geoffrion. 
The three finalists were selected from the initial list of Top 10 candidates by the 24-member Selection Committee and an additional round of online fan-balloting to 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.
This year’s Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 9 at Detroit's Ford Field during the NCAA Frozen Four. The 30th annual announcement will be aired live on ESPNU at 7 p.m., EDT. 

Gustav Nyquist – University of Maine, Malmo, Sweden
A guiding light for the Maine Black Bears and a dynamic force in Hockey East, Gustav Nyquist still leads the nation in scoring by a comfortable eight-point margin; despite the fact Maine missed the NCAA post season tournament.  Completing the season with 61 points in 39 games on 19 goals and 42 assists, Nyquist topped the country in both points and assists.  In conference games, Maine ended the season tied for third place while Nyquist tied fellow Hobey finalist Bobby Butler for first in Hockey East scoring and topped the circuit in assists in league play.  A fourth round draft pick of Detroit, Nyquist was runner-up for Hockey East Player of the Year and was selected as a First Team all-star. The Finance Major is on the Dean’s List at Maine.  He volunteers off-ice time coaching at youth hockey clinics. 
Bobby Butler – University of New Hampshire, Marlboro, Massachusetts
Butler is a finalist for not one, but three prestigious individual hockey awards: the Hobey Baker Award, the Hockey Humanitarian Award and the Walter Brown Award. Already named the Walter Brown recipient as the best American-born college player in New England, Butler has evolved into a prolific goal scorer leading the nation bagging 29 goals in 39 games this past season. He chipped in with 24 assists to total 53 points, tied for second best in the country.  The Wildcat captain tied for the conference scoring lead in Hockey East tallying 41 total points and led the circuit in goals, helping UNH to the regular-season title. His efforts earned him Player of the Year honors in Hockey East and a berth as a First Team all-star. Butler is a Health Management Major and recently signed as a free agent with the Ottawa Senators. His outreach into the community is extensive. Butler volunteers for every assignment involving the hockey program, has attended a local middle school every week for the past three years working with special needs students, has mentored two children (one who lost his father to cancer and another child battling leukemia) and volunteers with his teammates in the Reading Across America program at area schools.
Blake Geoffrion – University of Wisconsin, Brentwood, Tennessee
Certainly the family bloodlines don’t hurt, but Blake Geoffrion has established himself as one of the nation’s premiere players. The tri-captain of the Frozen Four bound Badgers is a complete player. Utilized in all situations, Geoffrion skates a regular shift, receives ample special teams time on both power play and penalty killing, takes key faceoffs (where he is a remarkable 60% on faceoffs) and has an amazing shooting percentage of 23%. Geoffrion was named MVP of the West Regional and has 27 goals and 21 assists in 38 games ranking second in the nation in goal scoring while tied for first in the country with 14 power play goals.  Finishing second in the WCHA scoring race and topping the conference in goals and power play goals, he was selected as a First Team all-star. And the family bloodlines? His dad Danny, granddad Bernie “Boom Boom” and his great grandpa Howie Morenz all played for the Montreal Canadiens. Boom Boom and Howie are both enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame and have nine Stanley Cups between them. Blake Geoffrion is a Consumer Science Major and spends time off the ice visiting UW Children’s Hospital, has been a mentor to a cancer patient and is a Peer Leader lending assistance to UW students. He is a second round draft pick of Nashville.

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