Final Hobey Handicapping
by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor
With the announcement of the 10 Hobey finalists set for today, not much has changed since our Hobey Handicapping article from mid-February. There are four new names added as "tops," the four at the bottom, in addition to the six already named as locks before.
Check out that article, where I opine about the attrition of talent overall in college hockey the last couple of years. But don't let that take too much away from this fine group.
Last year, I had Ryan Stoa as the should-be winner, and he wasn't even in the final three, but I still stand behind that. Jordan Schroeder was a shell without him this year.
These are the 10 I believe should be in the Top 10.
Gustav Nyquist, F, Maine: A big reason for Maine's turnaround, helping to lead the youngest team in Hockey East. He's the national leader in points with 59.
Bobby Butler, F, New Hampshire: His team got bumped out, but at 27 goals, he should be Hockey East POTY.
Blake Geoffrion, F, Wisconsin: Put it all together this year, including leadership. Will he get to play his brother, who plays for Alabama-Huntsville, in the NCAAs?
Chase Polacek, RPI: Third in the nation in goals with 26.
Brendan Smith, D, Wisconsin: Still lighting it up from the backline.
Marc Cheverie, G, Denver: Clearly the best goalie in the country.
Rhett Rakhshani, Denver: He was on the "maybe" list before, and he's here now simply because you've gotta pick from between he and lineman Tyler Ruegsegger. The third guy on the line is Joe Colborne, who actually leads Denver with 21 goals — but Rakhshani has the all-around play and the intangibles on his side.
Mark Olver, Northern Michigan: As mentioned above, he emerged ahead of Michigan State's Corey Tropp because he has surpassed Tropp in points, his plus-minus is great compared to Tropp's plus-1, and Olver's team is still playing.
Cam Atkinson, F, Boston College: Thought about putting North Dakota sophomore Jason Gregoire here. And for next-level potential, and bulldog playing, he certainly could go here. But the pure numbers point to Atkinson, who has two hat tricks in recent weeks. Also, BC has slipped so strangely under the radar this year, while having a great season. Sometimes, you need to remind yourself that these guys won a title two years ago, and remain pretty loaded.
Ben Scrivens, G, Cornell: Yale's Sean Backman could've been here if not for his dumb pool mishap just before the postseason that cost him the rest of his college career. Scrivens' numbers may not be drastically different than last year, but his play has been much better and more consistent, just from observation.
The big ommission, still, is anyone from Miami. I have a feeling the committee will pick one of them, mainly because they feel they have to. That would mean Miami's top scorer Jarrod Palmer, or goalie Cody Reichard. Thing is, Miami is so insanely balanced, with so many good players, it's hard to pick just one. They all go hand in hand. Maybe they should just take Miami's defense as a unit. If anyone does get bumped out as a result, I would guess Scrivens would be the one to go from the list.
We'll see by 8:30 p.m. (ET) tonight.