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2017 Winner - Will Butcher of University of Denver

  

As team captain in his senior season, Butcher has helped guide his Denver Pioneers to the Frozen Four national championship game as the number one ranked team in the nation. Butcher’s stellar performance as the premiere defenseman in the nation led to a host of post season awards including: the NCHC Player of the Year, Offensive Defenseman of the Year and for the second straight season, First Team all-conference. Earlier today, he was also honored by the American Hockey Coaches Association as a First Team All-American in the west.

Butcher becomes just the sixth defenseman in the 37 year history of the Hobey to be named a winner. He was the first blue-liner to be nominated as one of three Hobey hat trick finalists in eight years, last achieved when Matt Gilroy of Boston University won the award in 2009. Will joins fellow University of Denver defenseman Matt Carle (2006) to win the Hobey, becoming just the second Pioneer to be named college hockey’s top player.

Entering the national championship game, Butcher has scored seven goals, dished out 30 assists and his 37 points are second in the nation by a defenseman. The two-time All-American is equally efficient at both ends of the rink. His plus-minus of plus 27 is tied for sixth overall in the nation.

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2017 Runner-Ups


Zach Aston-Reese

Northeastern University, Senior, Forward, Staten Island, New York

Whether its special teams play or five-on-five, Aston-Reese has been a consistent and dominant performer this season. The Hockey East Player of the Year and First Team all-conference sniper is part of a three-way tie for most points in the nation while topping all skaters in the country with 31 goals. His balanced play included 31 goals and 32 assists for 63 points in 38 games. He contributed 13 power play goals (tied for third in nation) and added 4 short-handed tallies. His 1.66 points per game pace has him tied for best in the nation. A Graphic Design major, Zach spends time work with Boston area elementary schools by reading to students. He signed a pro contract with Pittsburgh and is playing in Wilkes-Barre (AHL).

  

Mike Vecchione

Union College, Senior, Forward, Saugus, Massachusetts

Sitting tied at the top of the nation in scoring with his fellow hat trick finalist, Vecchione (VECK-ee-oh-nee) is the ECAC Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Best Defensive Forward, proving his value as a 200 foot player. Also named First Team all-conference, he was second in the nation in goal scoring and tied for second with four short-handed goals. He culminated his Dutchmen career as the program’s all time points and assist leader. Vecchione finished with 29 goals and 34 assists for 63 point in 38 games and tied for first averaging 1.66 points per game. Terrific on the draw, Mike was 61.8% on faceoffs, 4th best in the nation. He topped the county in both multiple point games (21) and game-winning goals (7). A History major, Mike is active in many local events and spearheaded the efforts to serve Thanksgiving meals to the needy at a local YMCA.

  

 

2017 ADDITIONAL TOP 10 FINALISTS


Michael Bitzer

Bemidji State University – Junior, Goalie, Moorhead, Minnesota

The workhorse goalie for the Beavers has played more minutes than any other tender in the country. Along the way he established a WCHA record with a 1.40 goals against average during conference games. Besides being the league goalie champion, Bitzer was named WCHA Player of the Year and First Team all-conference. His 1.71 overall goals against average leads the nation as do his six shutouts.

  • His final record is 22-14-3 – already owns several career goalie records at Bemidji
  • Has a goals against average of 1.71 and save percentage of .932 is third in the nation
  • Exercise Science major – volunteers as a gardener at a food shelf; assists youth hockey

  

Anders Bjork

University of Notre Dame – Junior, Forward, Mequon, Wisconsin

Notre Dame’s assistant captain has paced the Fighting Irish scoring charts all season with 52 points in 38 games, including a terrific playoff run of two goals and six assists in five games. A solid two-way player, Bjork scores goals at key times and has six game winners so far this season. Bjork is one of five finalists for the Hockey Humanitarian Award for his endless hours of volunteer time at a local elementary school where he is known as “Mr. B.”

  • Has 21 goals, 31 assists for 52 points in 38 games – Boston Bruins draft (5th round)
  • Has 16 multiple point games so far – his plus/minus is +21
  • Marketing major – volunteers with Perley Fine Arts Academy in South Bend, IN

  

Spencer Foo

Union College – Junior, Forward, Edmonton, Alberta

Foo has proved to be one of the most consistent players in the nation, picking up points in all but four of his 38 games. He established a school record with a 21-game point streak earlier in the season and ended the year with a nine-game point streak intact. Also highly impressive is his plus/minus of +29, third best in the nation.

  • Had 26 goals (4th in nation), 36 assists (2nd nation) for 62 points (4th nation) in 38 games
  • Was tied for 1st in ECAC scoring and led in assists – 20 multiple point games
  • Economics major – assisted in serving Thanksgiving meals at local YMCA

  

Tyler Kelleher

University of New Hampshire – Senior, Forward, Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Despite the Wildcats season being over, their sparkplug Tyler Kelleher moved into a three-way tie for the national scoring lead with 63 points in 40 games. An exceptional playmaker, he produced 39 assists to lead the nation. He earned the Hockey East scoring title averaging almost 1.7 points per game and had a total of 18 multiple point games to his credit while being named First Team all-conference.

  • Had 24 goals, 39 assists for 63 points in 40 games – 13 power play goals is third in nation
  • Had 75 assists in 77 games over the past two seasons – signed with Milwaukee (AHL)
  • Communications major – assists a child with a brain tumor in playing hockey

  

Alexander Kerfoot

Harvard University – Senior, Forward, West Vancouver, British Columbia

Harvard has posted a Hobey finalist for the third straight year in Co-captain Alex Kerfoot. He helped guide the Crimson to a tie for first in the ECAC standings and a number three national ranking due to a current 18-game unbeaten streak entering the Frozen Four. A gifted playmaker, Kerfoot has produced points in 12 of his last 14 games, including goals in eight of them.

  • Has 16 goals, 28 assists for 44 points in 35 games – has 8 power play goals
  • Is a top ten finalist for the Senior Class Award – New Jersey draft (5th round)
  • Economics major – volunteers in cleaning a local high school and in fund raising events

  

Tyler Sheehy

University of Minnesota – Sophomore, Forward, Burnsville, Minnesota

The lone sophomore in this year’s class had a terrific season. He currently ranks eighth in the nation in scoring. Sheehy took home multiple conference awards including: Player of the Year, First Team Big Ten and conference co-scoring champion. Sheehy’s efforts on the Gophers top line helped Minnesota to their national record sixth straight regular season championship and their record 37th appearance in the NCAA playoffs.

  • Had 20 goals, 33 assists for 53 points in 38 games – had 19 multiple point games
  • His +21 plus/minus is 17th best in the nation – Business/Marketing major
  • Volunteers with Hope Day providing activities for children with severe medical conditions

  

Charles Williams

Canisius College – Senior, Goalie, Canton, Michigan

As the Golden Griffins soared to the Atlantic Hockey regular season title, they did it on the back of Williams who led the circuit in goals against average and save percentage. He was named to the AHC Player of the Year, First Team all-conference and Goalie Champion. He presently leads the nation in save percentage at .943 while sitting second in goals against average and is tied for first with six shutouts.

  • His final record is 21-7-5 – goals against average is 1.82 – save percentage is .943
  • Played 20 games in four years at Ferris State – is a graduate transfer and is working on his master’s degree in Sports Administration – is vice president of his fraternity
  • Signed a pro contract with Manchester of the ECHL