Hobey Watch! – Midseason Edition


With the holiday break – and World Juniors – in full swing, it’s time for a midseason reset of who the top candidates are for the Hobey. From this list on in I’m going to be presenting them in somewhat of the order I would vote for them if they ever lost their minds enough to give me a vote. 

Justin Schultz, Jr. D, Wisconsin

Schultz was a 2011 finalist and has been even better this year. His 9 goals and 28 points are on pace to surpass his numbers from last year and he keeps getting better on the defensive side of the ice as well. With the Ducks being as terrible as they are, Schultz is probably talented enough to play on that team right now, but Mike Eaves is reaping the benefits of the BC native’s decision to return to school.

Nick Bjugstad, So. F, Minnesota

Bjugstad’s November shooting percentage was over 34%, which is obviously unsustainable, but he still is fourth nationally in goals per game for a resurgent Gopher squad that is fighting for the MacNaughton Cup. Bjugstad has 10 multi point games this year for Minnesota.

Austin Smith, Sr. F, Colgate

Smith is probably the best defensive forward on this list, and at 1.65 points per game he leads the nation. He is also second in goals per game at 1.06 with his 18 goals in 17 games. He also leads the nation in shorthanded goals with 5.

Jack Connolly, Sr F, Minnesota-Duluth

I think we may have figured out who the driving force on the Connolly-Connolly-Fontaine line last year was. Connolly has good linemates again this year but the Senior has 29 points in 18 games to rank second nationally in points per game at 1.61. He is the driving force for a Duluth team that is tied for Minnesota atop the WCHA and has 16 points in Duluth’s last 8 games.

Cal Heeter, Sr G, Ohio State

Heeter was the most underappreciated goalie, and maybe player, in the country last year and this year is starting to get his due. His .926 save percentage ranks 13th nationally and he has done it while having to face a ton of shots, especially relative to his CCHA brethren.

Kent Patterson, Sr G, Minnesota

Patterson was the best goalie in the WCHA last year and continues to be very good this year. He has a .921 save percentage and in WCHA play his save percentage sits at .926, the best in the league. He also leads the nation in shutouts with 6.

Brock Nelson, So F, North Dakota

It has been a disappointing year in Grand Forks, as the Sioux sit in 6th place in the WCHA, but Nelson has been great for the Sioux with 14 goals in 18 games. His .78 goals per game ranks 5th in the country and, though he has extremely talented linemates in Corban Knight and Danny Kristo, has put up great numbers despite being the focus of opposing defenses all season.