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Hobey Baker Memorial Award

The Hobey Baker Memorial Award is an annual award given to the top National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s ice hockey player. It has been awarded 41 times. It is named for Hall of Famer Hobey Baker, who played college hockey at Princeton University and died shortly after World War I.

The original statue for the award was commissioned and awarded by the Decathlon Athletic Club (now defunct) in Bloomington, Minnesota. The model for the award trophy was Steve Christoff, who played for the University of Minnesota and in the National Hockey League.

Hobey Baker Memorial Trophy
Hobey Baker Memorial Trophy (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)

What School Has the Most Hobey Baker Award Winners?

The University of Minnesota-Duluth has produced more Hobey Baker Award winners than any other school. UMD boasts six winners of the honor. Tom Kurvers was the Bulldogs’ first winner, taking home the trophy in 1984; and Bill Watson won again for Minnesota-Duluth the following year. The other winners from UMD were Chris Marinucci (1994), Junior Lessard (2004), Jack Connolly (2012) and Scott Perunovich (2020). Four of Minnesota-Duluth’s winners – Kurvers, Marinucci, Connolly and Perunovich – were born in the state of Minnesota.

How is the Hobey Baker Award Determined?

There are three steps in selecting a winner for the award. First, the head coaches of the NCAA Division 1 ice hockey programs nominate the top three players in their respective leagues, and then nominate three more nationally. College hockey fans can also participate during this step by voting online. These votes are tabulated by Price Waterhouse Coopers accounting firm, and 10 finalists are announced.

The next step is narrowing it down to three finalists – a group called the “Hobey Hat Trick.” The winner is chosen from these three, and is selected by the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Selection Committee. The committee is “a geographically balanced group of 29 individuals representing print and electronic sports media, college hockey coaches and officials, and NHL scouts.” There is also a round of fan voting in this step of the process. Criteria for the award includes: displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.

Interesting Facts About the Hobey Baker

  • Only three goaltenders have won the Hobey Baker Award. Robb Stauber from the University of Minnesota was the first netminder to win the award in 1988. Michigan State’s Ryan Miller was the second in 2001, and Minnesota State-Mankato’s Dryden McKay became the third when he took home the trophy in 2022.
  • More Hobey Baker winners have come from Minnesota than anywhere else. A record 10 winners have hailed from Minnesota, which is as many as the next two states combined. Massachusetts is in second on that list with six winners of the award, while Michigan is third with four winners.
  • Only one Hobey Baker Award winner is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. That player is Paul Kariya, who won the award in 1993 while playing for the University of Maine. Kariya played 15 seasons in the NHL and still holds a number of team records for the Anaheim Ducks.
Paul Kariya Maine
Paul Kariya (UMaine Athletics)

Deeper Dive

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy Winners

1980-81Neal BrotenCMinnesotaRoseau, Minn.
1981-82George McPheeLWBowling GreenGuelph, Ont.
1982-83Mark FuscoDHarvardBurlington, Mass.
1983-84Tom KurversDMinnesota-DuluthMinneapolis, Minn.
1984-85Bill WatsonRWMinnesota-DuluthPine Falls, Man.
1985-86Scott FuscoCHarvardBurlington, Mass.
1986-87Tony HrkacCNorth DakotaThunder Bay, Ont.
1987-88Robb StauberGMinnesotaDuluth, Minn.
1988-89Lane MacDonaldLWHarvardTulsa, Okla.
1989-90Kip MillerCMichigan StateLansing, Mich.
1990-91David EmmaCBoston CollegeCranston, R.I.
1991-92Scott PellerinLWUniv. of MaineShediac, N.B.
1992-93Paul KariyaLWUniv. of MaineVancouver, B.C.
1993-94Chris MarinucciLWMinnesota-DuluthGrand Rapids, Minn.
1994-95Brian HolzingerCBowling GreenParma, Ohio
1995-96Brian BoninCUniv. of MinnesotaWhite Bear Lake, Minn.
1996-97Brendan MorrisonCUniv. of MichiganPitt Meadows, B.C.
1997-98Chris DruryLWBoston Univ.Trumbull, Conn.
1998-99Jason KrogCNew HampshireFernie, B.C.
1999-2000Mike MottauDBoston CollegeBoston, Mass.
2000-01Ryan MillerGMichigan StateEast Lansing, Mich.
2001-02Jordan LeopoldDMinnesotaGolden Valley, Minn.
2002-03Peter SejnaLWColorado CollegeLiptovsky Mikulas, Czechoslovakia
2003-04Junior LessardRWMinnesota-DuluthSaint-Joseph-de-Beauce, Que.
2004-05Marty SertichCColorado CollegeRoseville, Minn.
2005-06Matt CarleDUniv. of DenverAnchorage, Alaska
2006-07Ryan DuncanLWNorth DakotaCalgary, Alberta
2007-08Kevin PorterCUniv. of MichiganNorthville, Mich.
2008-09Matt GilroyDBoston Univ.North Bellmore, N.Y.
2009-10Blake GeoffrionCWisconsinPlantation, Fla.
2010-11Andy MieleLWMiami (Ohio)Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.
2011-12Jack ConnollyCMinnesota-DuluthDuluth, Minn.
2012-13Drew LeBlancCSt. Cloud StateDuluth, Minn.
2013-14Johnny GaudreauLWBoston CollegeSalem, N.J.
2014-15Jack EichelCBoston Univ.North Chelmsford, Mass.
2015-16Jimmy VeseyLWHarvardBoston, Mass.
2016-17Will ButcherDUniv. of DenverSun Prairie, Wisc.
2017-18Adam GaudetteCNortheasternBraintree, Mass.
2018-19Cale MakarDUMassCalgary, Alberta
2019-20Scott PerunovichDMinnesota-DuluthHibbing, Minn.
2020-21Cole CaufieldRWWisconsinStevens Point, Wisc.
2021-22Dryden McKayGMSU-MankatoDowners Grove, Ill.