Three UConn players were named candidates of the prestigious Hobey Baker Award Tuesday afternoon. Sophomores Tage Thompson and Maxim Letunov are joined by freshman Adam Huska to round out the Huskies that have a chance to win the award for top player in Division I hockey.
Thompson leads the Huskies in scoring and points with 17 goals and 8 assists totaling the team-high 25 points. His 17 goals are second in the Hockey East and fourth nationally. In 24 games this season, Thompson has posted eight multi-point efforts and six multi-goal games. The sophomore played on Team USA in the IIHF World Junior tournament this winter, where he took home gold.
Fellow sophomore Letunov comes in with 24 points on the season, 18 of which have come off assists, which is a team-high. The Moscow native is UConn’s best power-play weapon, leading the Huskies with three goals and 10 assists with an extra man on the ice. The 10 power-play assists are good enough for fourth in the conference and twelfth nationally.
Huska has been one of the biggest surprises of the year for UConn. The freshman netminder has played in 15 games posting a 2.74 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. Huska is currently fourth in the Hockey East and seventeenth nationally in terms of save percentage. The Slovakian native is an impressive 6-2-2 in Hockey East play, posting a 2.28 goals against average and .932 save percentage in league play.
Winners of the Hobey Baker are chosen for not only raw skill or character, but a balance of everything it takes to be a great hockey player. According to the judges, candidates must:
- 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
The selection for this award happens in three parts. First, the head coaches of Division I schools must select the top-three players in their conference, and the top-three players in the country. This is where the process is at now, with the initial pool of players having been chosen.
Phase II narrows down the field to ten players; at this point the fan vote plays a very important role in the selection. Fans can vote for their favorite college hockey players here.
The field is brought down to the final three, known as the “Hobey Hat Trick.” The main voting in this phase is by the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Selection Committee, a geographically balanced group of 27 people representing print and electronic sports media, college hockey coaches and officials, and NHL scouts. Fans can continue to place their votes online as well.
The winner will be selected in a nationally televised event during the Frozen Four in Chicago on April 7.