Congrats to Boston College defensemen Brian Dumoulin. The junior was named one of the 10 finalists for the 2012 Hobey Baker Award.
The smart, play-making D-man from the nation's number one ranked team is up for two league awards he won last season: Best Defensive Defenseman and First Team all-league. Dumoulin's keen vision of the ice and smart choices has led to 6 goals and 20 assists in 38 games; but his plus-20 ranks number one on the team and is a key for BC's success. He's a plus-83 in 117 career games.
The Carolina Hurricanes draft pick (2nd round) has anchored an Eagles blueline that ranks first in Hockey East in scoring defense (2.22 goals/game) and eighth nationally (2.21 goals/game).
Dumoulin joins F Spencer Abbott (Maine), F Jack Connolly (Minnesota-Duluth), G Troy Grosenick (Union), G Shawn Hunwick (Michigan), D Tim Kirby (Air Force), D Torey Krug (Michigan State), D Justin Schultz (Wisconsin), F Austin Smith (Colgate) and F Reilly Smith (Miami) on the Hobey Baker Award finalist list.
Lots of defensemen on that list. Forwards Abbott, Smith and Connolly are the scorers on that list, ranking first (Abbott) and second (both Smith and Connolly) on the nation's scoring list. Reilly Smith is tied for 17th. Union's sophomore goaltender Troy Grosenick is third in the country with a 1.66 GAA, while Michigan senior Shawn Hunwick has posted a 23-10-3 record and a 1.97 GAA.
Notably absent from the Hobey Finalist list are junior winger Chris Kreider and goaltender Parker Milner. Kreider's stats simply aren't eye-popping this season -- 21 goals, 18 assists -- but there's no question in my mind he's the best skater in Hockey East. Milner has simply been outstanding down the stretch. He leads the nation in winning percentage (23-5-0), posting a 1.84 GAA and a .928 save percentage.
While I don't expect Dumoulin to take home the hardware, still quite the individual honor to be named to the Hobey Baker Award top 10. Forget individual accolades; let's go win trophies.
The Hobey Hat Trick (three finalists) will be announced on March 29, 2012 and the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 6, 2012 from MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, FL during the NCAA Frozen Four. A video feed of the award announcement can be watched live on the Hobey Baker website.