No matter what, the State of Hockey will be proud when the winner of the annual Hobey Baker Award is announced after the men's college hockey Frozen Four next week.
On Thursday, the three finalists for the award given to the nation's top player, were announced, and all of them have ties to Minnesota.
- Ben Meyers, forward, University of Minnesota
- Dryden McKay, goalie, Minnesota State
- Bobby Brink, forward, Denver
Meyers played high school hockey at Delano and now stars for the Gophers, who will face McKay and Minnesota State April 7 in the Frozen Four. McKay, who is from Illinois, was also a finalists for the Hobey Baker last year.
Brink was a standout at Minnetonka High School and now has the helped lead Denver to the Frozen Four, where they will face Michigan next week. Brink was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round of the 2019 NHL Draft.
The three finalists were trimmed from a list of 10 candidates, half of whom have Minnesota connections. In addition to the three finalists, Minnesota State's Nathan Smith and Michigan Tech forward Brian Halonen were among the final 10 candidates. Smith isn't from Minnesota, but Halonen was teammates with Meyers at Delano High School.
The winner will be announced Friday, April 8.
Since the first Hobey Baker Award in 1981, there have been 12 winners who are from Minnesota or played college hockey in Minnesota.
- 1981: Neal Broten (Gophers)
- 1984: Tom Kurvers (UMD)
- 1985: Bill Watson (UMD)
- 1988: Robb Stauber (Gophers)
- 1994: Chris Marinucci (UMD)
- 1996: Brian Bonin (Gophers)
- 2002: Jordan Leopold (Gophers)
- 2004: Junior Lessard (UMD)
- 2005: Marty Sertich (Colorado College, from Roseville)
- 2012: Jack Connelly (UMD)
- 2013: Drew LeBlanc (St. Cloud State)
- 2020: Scott Perunovich (UMD)