The Hobey Baker Memorial Award announced the three finalists for the 2015-16 NCAA season. Two of the three players are USHL alumni. Both alumni are NHL Draft picks, including a 1st and 2rd round pick. USHL alumni, including Jack Eichel (Team USA) and Johnny Gaudreau (Dubuque Fighting Saints), have won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award in each of the past five seasons. The Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner will be announced Friday, April 8th.
Below is a list of Hobey Baker Memorial Award top three finalists, also known as the Hobey Hat Trick, and a look at their development dating back to their USHL junior hockey careers:
Kyle Connor (Youngstown Phantoms): The University of Michigan forward is skating in his first NCAA season after graduating from the Youngstown Phantoms. In 174 career USHL games, Connor scored 195 points including 82 goals. Connor was named the 2015 USHL Player and Forward of the Year after helping the Phantoms win the Anderson Cup. Connor was selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2015 NHL Draft in the 1st round, 17th overall. Connor led the nation in scoring this year as a freshman with 61 points in 34 games including a NCAA-best 30 goals. The Shelby Township, MI native previously played for Belle Tire (T1EHL) prior to signing a tender with the Youngstown Phantoms.
Thatcher Demko (Team USA): The Boston College goaltender is playing in his third NCAA season. Demko played 34 career USHL games with the Omaha Lancers and Team USA, posting a 24-6-0 record with a career 2.48 GAA and .901 SV%. Demko shared the crease with fellow Hobey Baker top 10 finalist Alex Lyon during the Omaha Lancers 2011-12 season. Demko was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2014 NHL Draft in the 2nd round, 36th overall. Demko finished the year with a 25-6-4 record with a 1.78 GAA and .938 SV%, including 10 shutouts. Demko previously played for the California Titans (NAPHL) prior to joining the Omaha Lancers.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16. A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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