Minnesota Duluth defender Scott Perunovich won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award on Saturday night as the best player in college hockey, becoming the Bulldogs’ sixth record recipient.
Peribbovich, a Hibbing, Minnesota junior who recently signed with the St. Louis Blues, edged North Dakota forward Jordan Kawaguchi and Maine goalkeeper Jeremy Swayman for the price announced on ESPN.
“I am extremely honored and humiliated,” said Perunovich. “Five other Bulldogs have won this prestigious award, so it is a privilege to join them. “
Perunovich joined Tom Kurvers (1984). Bill Watson (1985), Chris Marinucci (1994), Junior Lessard (2004) and Jack Connolly (2012) at the Bulldogs’s Hobey Baker club.
Perunovich was second in the country with 34 assists and had six goals in 34 games, becoming the first defenseman to lead the National Collegiate Hockey Association by scoring. He was drafted by the Blues in the second round in 2018.
“It makes a difference, for sure,” said Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin. “He’s the type of impact player who can take control of a game. He had a great season – and a great three-year career here – and certainly deserves this award. “
The season was canceled on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The price announcement was originally scheduled for Friday evening on the eve of the NCAA Championship game in Detroit, where Perunovich and the Bulldogs hoped to play for a third straight title.
The undrafted Kawaguchi had 15 goals and 30 assists in 33 games. He returns to North Dakota for his senior season
Swayman was 18-11-5 with a goals against average of 2.07 and a save percentage of .939. He recently signed with the Boston Bruins.
The award is named in honor of Baker, the former Princeton hockey and football star who was a First World War fighter pilot. He was killed in a plane crash in France after he returned home.