CHICAGO — Denver senior Will Butcher picked up one nice trophy Friday. He is hoping to grab another one this weekend.
Butcher is the first defenceman to win the Hobey Baker Award since Matt Gilroy in 2009. The captain of the Pioneers will be back on the ice Saturday night against Minnesota Duluth in the Frozen Four final.
"It's been a great ride, but we're not done yet," he said.
Butcher is the second player from Denver to take home the Hobey, joining Matt Carle in 2006. Only seven defencemen have won the award given to the top player in college hockey.
"I believe this award to be a team award," Butcher said. "Tonight, as I accept this award, I accept it on behalf of our entire team at DU."
Butcher, a fifth-round selection by the Colorado Avalanche in 2013, has seven goals and a team-high 30 assists in 42 games. He also was the National Collegiate Hockey Conference player of the year.
Forwards Zach Aston-Reese of Northeastern and Mike Vecchione of Union were the other finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. Aston-Reese had 31 goals and 32 assists in 38 games for the Huskies, and Vecchione finished with 29 goals and 34 assists in 38 games for the Dutchmen.
Baker was a football and hockey star for Princeton and the biggest name in hockey before serving in the Army Air Corps during World War I. He was 26, already scheduled to be shipped home, when he was killed in a plane crash in France.
Former Harvard forward Jimmy Vesey won the award last year.
The Associated Press