STORRS, Conn. - University of Connecticut sophomores Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn.) and Maxim Letunov (Moscow, Russia) and freshman Adam Huska (Zvolen, Slovakia) were named as candidates for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top player in NCAA Division I men's ice hockey.
UConn fans will have the opportunity to let their voices be heard during the Hobey Baker fan vote, which opened on Monday and runs through March 5. To cast your vote for Thompson, Letunov or Huska, please visit www.HobeyBaker.com/vote or click here.
Thompson leads the Huskies in scoring this season with 25 points coming on 17 goals and eight assists. Thompson's 17 goals has him ranked second among Hockey East goal scorers and tied for fourth among the nation's leaders. His 25 points has him tied for 15th among league leaders. On the power play, Thompson has found the back of the net six times, ranking seventh in the league. He has had at least a point in 14 of 24 games played and has posted eight multi-point efforts and six multi-goal games.
Letunov is right on Thompson's heels with 24 points this season on six goals and a team-leading 18 assists. His 18 assists puts him tied for ninth among league leaders while on the power play, he has been the team's top-point producer with three goals and 10 assists. His 10 power play assists are tied for fourth in Hockey East and 12th nationally. He has had a team-best nine multi-point games this year and over his last 11 games, he has posted 13 points (2g/11a).
As a rookie goaltender, Huska has started 15 games this season and sports a 2.74 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. He currently ranks fourth among Hockey East goalies in save percentage and is 17th in the NCAA rankings. In 11 Hockey East games this season, Huska has posted a 6-2-2 record while knocking off nationally ranked opponents Notre Dame, Boston University, UMass Lowell and Vermont. In league play, he has posted a 2.28 goals against average and a .932 save percentage.
About the Hobey Baker Award
Teamwork. Dedication. Integrity. Exceptional play. Humility. And, above all, character. These are the values that set the game of hockey, and those who play it, apart from any other. They are also the values that the Hobey Baker Award honors each year. Winners are chosen not for raw skill or stats or character alone, though those are important. They are selected for everything they do.
• Exhibit strength and character, both on and off the ice
• Contribute to the integrity of the team
• Display outstanding skills in all phases of the game
• Show scholastic achievement and sportsmanship
Candidates must also comply with all NCAA rules, be full-time students in an accredited NCAA college or university, and complete 50% or more of the season.
The Hobey Baker Award was named for hockey legend and World War I veteran Hobey Baker. Universally recognized as the best amateur player in the United States, Baker was the ultimate gentleman sportsman, always playing the game with courage, honor, and humility.
Nominating and selection criteria
The selection process for the award is in three parts. First, the head coaches of NCAA Division I schools nominate the top three players in their league and the top three players in the nation. College hockey fans can also vote online at this time--and fan voting can be an important factor in the balloting outcome. Price Waterhouse Coopers tabulates the votes and the top 10 candidates are announced.
Voting then commences for the "Hobey Hat Trick," which is a narrowing of the field from ten players to three, from which the winner is selected. The primary voting in this part of the process is by the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Selection Committee, a geographically balanced group of 27 individuals representing print and electronic sports media, college hockey coaches and officials, and NHL scouts. Fans may also vote online for their favorite candidate during this phase of the process.
After the three finalists for the award are announced ("Hobey Hat Trick"), the countdown begins toward the announcement of the award winner in a nationally televised ceremony. The 2017 Hobey Baker winner will be announced on April 7 at the Frozen Four in Chicago.