Saturday, April 8, 2017

Denver's Butcher Wins Hobey Baker Award

University of Denver senior defenseman and team captain Will Butcher is the winner of the 2017 Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top player in NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey. The honor was bestowed upon Butcher on Friday in Chicago, site of this year’s NCAA Frozen Four. The award is presented by the Decathlon Club of Bloomington, Minn.
Butcher becomes the second Denver Pioneer to win the Hobey Baker Award in its 36-year history, and the first since fellow defenseman Matt Carle in 2005. That was the last year that DU, currently ranked No. 1 in the nation, won its most recent of seven NCAA hockey championships.
A native of Sun Prairie, Wis., and a 2013 draft choice of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, Butcher leads all Denver blueliners with seven goals and 30 assists for 37 points to go along with 18 penalty minutes in 42 games so far this season. In three years at DU, he has tallied 28-75—103 points and 53 PIM in 157 career outings, along with 15 power-play and four game-winning goals.
Also on Friday, Denver junior goaltender Tanner Jaillet copped the 2017 Mike Richter Award, which is annually awarded to the most outstanding netminder in NCAA men's hockey. In 37 outings so far this season, the Red Deer, Alta. native has posted a 27-5-4 record with a 1.83 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage. Denver head coach Jim Montgomery won the Spencer T. Penrose Award earlier in the week as Division I men's hockey's top coach.

Butcher, Jaillet, Montgomery and Denver will look to cap the 2016-17 campaign with a national title on Saturday night, when the Pioneers meet Minnesota-Duluth in the national title game at the United Center (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).

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