Thursday, March 31, 2016
Demko Named Hobey Hatrick Finalist
Boston College goaltender Thatcher Demko was named one of three finalist for the Hobey Baker Award this afternoon along with Michigan's Kyle Connor and Harvard's Jimmy Vesey. The winner will be announced next Friday at the Tampa Theater.
Of course, I am biased towards BC guys but no one in the country is more deserving of this honor than Demko. The junior out of San Diego holds the school's single season shutout record (10), boasts the second best save percentage in the country (.936), as well as the seventh best goals against average (1.85). In fifteen games against teams that qualified for the NCAAs, Demko went 9-4-2 with a .926 save percentage and 2.20 goals against average.
In my opinion, you can only determine the best players based off how they do against top end competition. Vesey and Connor are two of the finest forwards to play college hockey in some time but they simply have not fared well against the big guns. Harvard played twelve games against NCAA teams (only won two) and over the course of those games, Vesey recorded ten points. Of course, he had zero against Boston College. On the other hand, Kyle Connor's Michigan squad faced-off in five games against NCAA tournament teams (including both last week). Connor notched six points in those five games. The Winnipeg draft pick had zero goals in three regular season games against top 15 pairwise clubs. Given how weak Michigan's schedule was, I don't think it's fair to say the best player in the country comes out of the thinest conference in college hockey. Not to mention, the Wolverines had a cupcake non-conference slate that included Niagara, Northern Michigan, Mercyhurst, Robert Morris, and Dartmouth.
This is the first year in a long time where I don't think there is a set in stone winner. Many in the media seem to believe it's Connor's to lose but we all know how they feel about BC- just look at the Beanpot MVP.
On another note, Matthew Gaudreau returned to practice this week. It will be interesting to see what the staff does with line combinations.