Thursday, March 04, 2010

Badgers for the Hobey?

USCHO broke down the Hobey Baker race today as we head into the final weekend of the regular season. The list of 10 will be released in two weeks and Elliot Olshansky handicapped the biggest names in the running for the award.

Multiple Badgers made the list.

There are four guys listed as Moral Locks and Brendan Smith is one of them. Here’s the paragraph on Brendan.

Brendan Smith, Wisconsin – He’s the top-scoring defenseman in the country, the No. 16 scorer overall, and he has more goals than six of the forwards who are ahead of him. He’s also improved his defensive play for a team that is a favorite to advance to the Frozen Four.The other three locks are Denver’s Mark Cheverie, UNH’s Bobby Butler and Maine’s Gustav Nyquist.

There are three guys listed as on Solid Gournd followed by Blake Geoffrion and seven other players listed as Question Marks. Here’s Geoffrion’s breakdown:
Blake Geoffrion, Wisconsin – Our friends at INCH think that Geoffrion is the Badgers’ top Hobey contender, and while I think that distinction belongs to Brendan Smith, Geoffrion certainly has a strong case. He’s a senior leader on one of the nation’s top teams, the No. 5 goal-scorer in the country, and a name player and NHL draft pick who stuck it out for all four years of college. The main thing that could derail Geoffrion’s candidacy is a case of “too many cooks spoil the sauce.” Wisconsin has four players who could make a case as a Hobey candidate, and while Smith’s scoring numbers as a defenseman separate him from the pack, the three forwards – Geoffrion, Michael Davies, and Derek Stepan – could wind up taking votes from one another. Also, he’s missed time recently due to injury, which could play a role. I think Geoffrion’s the best of the bunch among the Wisconsin forwards, but I’m not on the committee.
Lastly, there are the Outside Shots. Michael Davies and Derek Stepan are listed with 5 other players. Michael Davies, Wisconsin – Davies has had a very nice senior year for the Badgers, but takes, to my thinking, a clear backseat to teammates Brendan Smith and Blake Geoffrion when it comes to the Hobey race. He is a senior, and he has a higher point total than Geoffrion, but I think that Geoffrion’s goals give him the preferred spot behind Brendan Smith.
Derek Stepan, Wisconsin – See above, although Stepan is, to my thinking, a less likely pick than Davies. He’s a sophomore as opposed to a senior, and his numbers are skewed more heavily towards assists than Davies’ are. One thing Stepan may have going for him is his performance at the World Juniors, although that’s not really a matter for consideration where the Hobey is concerned.

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