Perunovich, Kawaguchi and Swayman named Hobey Baker finalists


Scott Perunovich, a prospect for the St. Louis Blues defender from the University of Minnesota Duluth, was among the three finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award announced Thursday.

University of North Dakota forward Jordan Kawaguchi and goalkeeper Jeremy Swayman (Boston Bruins) of the University of Maine are the other finalists for the annual NCAA Best Male Ice Hockey Player award. The winner will be announced on April 11.

Perunovich, a 21-year-old junior who was selected by the Blues in the second round (# 45) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, led the National College Hockey Conference with 40 points (six goals, 34 assists) in 34 games . He had 32 points (four goals, 28 assists) in 24 conference games to become the first defenseman to lead the NCHC while scoring.

Perunovich, who placed second in the NCAA for assists and was tied for first with Providence forward Jack Dugan (Vegas Golden Knights) with 22 points power play (three goals, 19 assists), is a double All-American and three- first selection from the NCHC team. He helped the Minnesota Duluth win the NCAA Division I championship in 2018 and 2019 and accepted a two-year entry-level contract with the Blues on March 27.

Kawaguchi, a 22-year-old junior, placed second in the NCAA with 45 points (15 goals, 30 assists) in 33 games. He also had 13 winning points (five goals, eight assists) and 15 multi-point games. Kawaguchi, who announced on March 31 that he will return to North Dakota for his senior season, has been named NCHC First Team Coach, NCHC Striker of the Year, and has been a player of the game finalist. year.

Swayman, a 21-year-old junior, was selected by the Bruins in the fourth round (# 111) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He was 18-11-5 with an average of 2.07 goals against, save percentage, 939 and three shutouts in 34 games, playing every minute except seven this season, and facing more shots (1170) and making more saves (1099) than any other NCAA Goalkeeper . Swayman won the Walter Brown Award as the best US born player in New England and was named Hockey East Player of the Year and Hockey East First Team. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Bruins on March 18.

The three finalists were selected from the initial list of the 10 best candidates by the 30-member selection committee and an additional online ballot. The award criteria include a demonstration of exceptional skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and academic achievement.

The 40th Hobey Baker Award ceremony will include announcements of the Humanitarian Hockey Prize, Pan American teams from East and West, and the Mike Richter Prize for the best university ice hockey goalkeeper.


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