Gostisbehere should have been Hobey Hat Trick selection
There is no doubt that Boston College junior forward Johnny Guadreau will be named the winner of the Hobey Baker Award as the best player on college hockey this season next Friday in Philadelphia. With his 35 goals and 42 assists, Gaudreau should be an unanimous choice.
But it's the other two spots in the Hobey Hat Trick finalists that bother me. Union defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere had an outstanding season. He was a top-10 finalist, and if you watched Saturday's NCAA tournament East Regional championship game against Providence, he can play goalie, too, with the saves he made on Conor MachPhee in the first period.
But when the Hobey Hat Trick finalists were announced Wednesday, Gostisbehere's name was nowhere to be found. The other two finalists were St. Lawrence senior forward Greg Carey and St. Cloud State senior forward Nic Dowd.
The Hobey voters got the runner-ups to Gaudreau wrong.
Gostisbehere, the only defenseman who made the top-10 finalists, is tied with BC defenseman Steve Santini for the top defensive rating among D-men with a plus-28. Gostisbehere, who has eight goals and 21 assists, is one of the backbones of Union's power play. He was named ECAC Hockey Co-Player of the Year, which he shared with Carey, and also won the Co-Defensive Defenseman Award.
Carey had a good year, collecting 18 goals and 39 assists. But his goal production was down from the 28 he scored last season.
Dowd wasn't even the leading scorer on St. Cloud State. He finished second behind Jonny Brodzinski with 22 goals and 18 assists.
To me, it seems like Carey and Dowd are being rewarded for outstanding careers. Carey had 185 points, while Dowd had 121 points.
Last year's Hobey winner, St. Cloud State forward Drew LeBlanc, won it with 13 goals and 50 assists. But to me, LeBlanc was a sentimental choice because he returned from a terrible broken leg injury suffered during the 2011-12 season. If I had a vote, Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzell would have been my pick. He led the Bobcats to the Frozen Four final and had a 30-7-5 record with a 1.57 goals-against average.
The Hobey Baker Award isn't about career statistics and sentimental choices. It's about what a player does during a season. My top three would have been Gaudreau, Gostisbehere and Minnesota sophomore goalie Adam Wilcox, who is 25-5-6 with a 1.89 GAA.
Carey and Dowd probably won't even be in Philadelphia for the ceremony. Carey is playing with the AHL's Portland Pirates, while Dowd just signed with the Los Angeles Kings. Gaudreau will have the stage all to himself.
If the Hobey voters had picked Gostisbehere, Gaudreau would have had some company. But the Hobey voters got this one wrong.