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.
- Finished the season with 14 goals, 18 assists for 32 points in 29 games
- Named First Team All-Ivy League – New York Rangers draft (6th round)
- Business major – named First Team all-conference ECAC
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.
- Finished with 20 goals, 17 assists for 37 points in 34 games – had 3 short-handed goals
- Transfer student from Northeastern – his brother David plays for Boston College
- Finance and Investment Management major – volunteers with Team impact initiative
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.
- Finished with 10 goals, 42 assists for 52 points in 34 games
- Had 17 multiple point games to lead all players in the nation
- Social Science major – Vegas draft (5th round)
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.
- Finished with 14 goals, 29 assists for 43 points in 34 games – had 13 multi-point games
- His nine power play goals tied for fifth in the nation – Nashville draft (3rd round)
- Psychology major – 21 power play points tied for third in the nation
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.
- Finished with 15 goals, 30 assists for 45 points in 33 games – had 15 multi-point games
- NCHC Player of the Month (Nov. & Jan.) - national Player of the Month (Nov.)
- Marketing major – active in a variety of community service efforts
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.
- Finished with 27 goals, 10 assists for 37 points in 33 games – had two hat tricks
- San Jose draft (6th round) – dad John was Asst. Basketball coach at UMass (2001-05)
- Actively engaged in a variety of community programs in Amherst
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.
- His final record was: 30-4-2 – goals against average of 1.31 – save percentage of .942
- Had 10 shutouts – allowed two or less in 30 of 36 starts – played in all but one game
- Finance major with 3.86 GPA – volunteer with Holiday Lights and Pond Hockey tourney
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.
- Finished with 20 goals, 24 assists for 44 points in 31 games – had 3 short-handed goals
- Played last two years for Germany in the IIHF World Championships
- Finance major – scored eight power play goals and third in the nation in PP points
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.
- Finished with 6 goals, 34 assists for 40 points in 34 games – 10th in nation in scoring
- 19 power play assists tied for first in nation – second in nation in points by a defenseman
- Communication major – two-time All American – St. Louis draft (2nd round)
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.
- His final record was: 18-11-5 – goals against average of 2.07 – save percentage of .939
- Posted three shutouts, all in the final five games – Boston draft (4th round)
- Business Management major – assists at local schools, hospitals and with youth teams
- Winner of Walter Brown Award given to the top American-born player in New England
- Nominees by conference: Hockey East 4, NCHC 2, WCHA 2, ECAC 1, AHA 1
- By class: Senior 2, Junior 6, Sophomore 2
- By position: Forward 6, Defense 2, Goalie 2
- By nationality: U.S. - 7 (two candidates: New York, one each: Minnesota, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Alaska) Canada - 2 (British Columbia, Nova Scotia) Germany - 1
- No repeat finalists from 2019
- UMass has a finalist for the second straight season
- Hobey Baker Award Banquet will be held June 17, 2020 in St. Paul, Minn.
- Visit hobeybaker.com or on Facebook at: facebook.com/TheHobey
- The Hobey Baker website also has the top ten video and in-depth bios 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.