In what was no surprise to many, Boston University freshman forward Jack Eichel took home the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the best player in college hockey this season.The presentation was made on Friday afternoon at Northeastern University’s Matthews Arena in Boston. The other finalists this year included Harvard University junior forward Jimmy Vesey, who led the nation with 32 goals, and University of North Dakota junior goaltender Zane McIntyre, who won the Mike Richter Award as the nation’s top netminder.
The first rookie to win the Hobey Baker Award since Maine’s Paul Kariya in 1993, Eichel, 18, from North Chelmsford, Mass. is also the ninth player from Hockey East and the fourth Massachusetts native to win the award. It was first presented in 1981, and was named after the late Princeton University hockey star of the early 20th century.
Eichel also copped Hockey East Player of the Year accolades this season, was a First Team All-Hockey East and First Team All-America selection, and collected the Tim Taylor Award as the nation’s top rookie. He is also the second consecutive Hobey Baker Award winner from Hockey East, following last years’ winner, Johnny Gaudreau of Boston College, who led the nation with 80 points a year ago and this season helped the NHL’s Calgary Flames back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.Eichel, who posted two goals and an assist in Thursday night’s 5-3 NCAA semifinal victory against North Dakota, leads the nation with 26 goals and 44 assists for 70 points in 39 outings. He also leads the Terriers into tonight’s national championship contest against Hockey East rival Providence College at TD Garden in Boston.