The Hobey Baker Memorial Award announced today the 2014 recipient of college hockey's top individual prize is Johnny Gaudreau from Boston College. The announcement came during the NCAA Frozen Four championship in a live ceremony held at the Loews Hotel, Center City in Philadelphia, PA and aired live locally on The Comcast Network and internationally on NHL Network.
Gaudreau (pronounced GOO-dreau), had a sensational season, posting 80 points to lead the nation in scoring while recording the highest point total in the last 11 seasons of college hockey. He averaged two points per game and recently tied a Hockey East conference record tallying points in 31 consecutive games (Paul Kariya, Maine).
Hobey Baker, born and buried in Philadelphia, was the legendary Princeton (1914) hockey player known as America's greatest amateur athlete one hundred years ago. He redefined how the game was played with his coast-to-coast dashes in an era when hockey was contested with seven players and no forward passes. Baker, a member of the U.S. Army's Air Corp, died testing a repaired aircraft at the end of World War I after he had completed his military service. The Hobey Baker Award criteria includes: displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements. Gaudreau was selected from a group of ten finalists by a 27-member selection committee and online fan balloting. For two straight years, he has been Hobey Hat Trick top three, finalist.
Some call him "Johnny Hockey," others just said, "oh-oh, here he comes." Johnny hockey never had an off night, he lit up everybody. Only twice in 40 games has he been held without a point. Gaudreau had 36 goals and 44 assists for 80 points in 40 games, ranking first in the nation in points, goals and assists. As defensively sound as anyone in the college game, Gaudreau leads the nation in plus-minus with a +41. He saved his best for the NCAA tournament. At the Northeast Regional, he scored 3 goals and 3 assists in the Eagles 6-2 win over Denver, and added 2 more assists on the first two goals of the 4-3 win over Lowell in the regional final. In the national semi-final against Union, he added a goal and two assists, finishing the 2014 tournament with four goals and seven assists in three games.
The Hockey East scoring champion was named the conference Player of the Year and First Team all-conference. A communications major and Calgary draft pick (4th round), he was honored with the Walter Brown Award as the best American born player in New England. He spends some time visiting elementary schools and is a mentor for a special needs team.