St. Paul, Minn. -- The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Committee is very pleased to announce the top ten candidates for the 2020 award honoring college hockey’s top player. Alphabetically, they are: Morgan Barron, Cornell University; Jason Cotton, Sacred Heart University; Jack Dugan, Providence College; David Farrance, Boston University; Jordan Kawaguchi, University of North Dakota; John Leonard, University of Massachusetts; Dryden McKay, Minnesota State University; Marc Michaelis, Minnesota State University; Scott Perunovich, University of Minnesota Duluth; and Jeremy Swayman, University of Maine.
The ten finalists were selected by voting from all 60 Division I college hockey head coaches plus online fan balloting. Next, the 30-member Selection Committee and an additional round of fan balloting through the Hobey website hobeybaker.com March 19-29 will determine this year’s Hobey Baker winner. Criteria for the award include: displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.
The Hobey Hat Trick (three finalists) will be announced on April 2, 2020 and the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced on Friday, April 10, 2020. The announcement will be televised live on the NHL Network and streamed on the Hobey Baker website at 6:00 p.m. ET.
Following, in alphabetical order, is a look at each finalist. All statistics are final as the college hockey season was canceled March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Morgan Barron – Cornell University – Junior, Forward, Halifax, Nova Scotia
A prototypical power forward, Barron finishes atop the Big Red scoring charts for the second straight year as he helped guide Cornell to a first-place finish in the ECAC and a number one ranking in both national polls. His special teams work was outstanding, gaining top penalty killing time and blasting one-timers on the power play. Despite playing the wing, he took key faceoffs and finished the year at 56.1% on the draw. He was a finalist for ECAC Player of Year.
Jason Cotton – Sacred Heart University – Senior, Forward, Parker, Texas
Collecting a career high 37 points in 34 games, Cotton soared to the top of Atlantic Hockey in scoring. The co-captain of the Pioneers is best known as a competitive, 200-foot player effective in all zones of the ice. Conference foes took notice and named him the circuit’s Player of the Year and First Team all-conference. Cotton topped all Atlantic Hockey snipers with 20 goals.
Jack Dugan – Providence College – Sophomore, Forward, Rochester, New York
Dugan led the NCAA in scoring for almost the entire season and finished atop all skaters with 52 points in 34 games. Additionally, the slick playmaker led the nation in assists, power play points and averaged a national best 1.53 points per game. A finalist for Hockey East Player of the Year, Dugan has collected 91 points in 75 games in his first two seasons of college hockey play.
David Farrance – Boston University – Junior, Defense, Victor, New York
A banner year has Farrance up for a multitude of conference and national awards. The high scoring defenseman had a terrific season topping all blue-liners in the country in points, goals and power play goals. His scoring prowess, particularly on the power play, placed him sixth overall in the nation in total points and ninth in the nation in assists.
Jordan Kawaguchi – University of North Dakota – Junior, Forward, Abbotsford, BC
The Fighting Hawks captured the NCHC regular season title while claiming the top spot in the pairwise rankings. They were led by the dynamic Kawaguchi (cow-uh-GOO-chee). He earned 45 points to finish second in the nation in scoring. The assistant captain was valuable in clutch situations with 13 game winning points, including five game winning goals.
John Leonard – University of Massachusetts – Junior, Forward, Amherst, Massachusetts
An elite goal scoring sensation, Leonard led the nation bagging 27 goals in just 33 games. His clutch performances included six game winners, tied for first in the country. A finalist for Hockey East Player of the Year, his 21 conference markers was a nine-year high in the circuit. Leonard was particularly brilliant late season tallying 10 goals in his final six games.
Dryden McKay – Minnesota State University – Sophomore, Goalie, Downers Grove, Illinois
Backstopping the Mavericks to a conference title and a number two national ranking, McKay led the way with a terrific season. He was the national leader in almost every goalie category including goals against average, save percentage, shutouts and wins. The WCHA rewarded him with Goaltender of the Year honors and First Team all-conference accolades.
Marc Michaelis – Minnesota State University – Senior, Forward, Mannheim, Germany
A dynamic centerman who led the WCHA in scoring, Michaelis (mih-KAY-lis) finished tied for third in the nation in scoring despite missing seven of his teams’ games. The two-time team captain was named WCHA Offensive Player of the Year and in a college sports rarity, was named First Team all-conference for the fourth straight season.
Scott Perunovich – University of Minnesota Duluth – Junior, Defense, Hibbing, Minnesota
The two-time defending national champion Bulldogs were led by Perunovich (purr-roo-na-vitch) who became the first defenseman to lead the NCHC in conference scoring. Additionally, he was named First Team all-conference for the third straight season and is a finalist for two more league awards. He was second in the nation in assists and tied for first in power play points.
Jeremy Swayman – University of Maine – Junior, Goalie, Anchorage, Alaska
No goalie in the nation was busier than Swayman who faced more shots and made more saves than any other goaltender. He played all but seven minutes of the Black Bears season, starting 33 of 34 games. An explosive skater with exceptional anticipation skills, he finished second in the nation in save percentage. Swayman is a finalist for Hockey East Player of the Year.
The Hobey Baker Top Ten video is available in a High Definition format at www.hobeybaker.com/media Total running time is 5:50.
The 2020 Hobey Baker Award winner will be honored along with this year’s Hobey Baker Legend of College Hockey, Rick Comley, at the annual banquet to be held Wednesday, June 17 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Hobey Baker Award will celebrate their 40th anniversary with a golf tournament the following day featuring many former Hobey winners. For more information on both visit the Hobey website at: www.hobeybaker.com.
Upcoming Hobey Baker Media releases are as follows: