Of the 34 previous Hobey Baker award winners, only one was a freshman.
Now there are two.
On Friday, Boston University first-year sensation Jack Eichel captured the 2015 Hobey Baker Award, beating out University of North Dakota goalie Zane McIntyre and Harvard forward Jimmy Vesey. With the win, Eichel joins Paul Kariya (Maine, 1993) as the only two freshmen to ever capture the Hobey.
And the Eichel-Kariya comparisons might not end there.
The same year Kariya won the award, he also led the Black Bears to a national championship and was later selected in the first round — fourth overall — of the NHL Entry Draft. Eichel’s BU Terriers will compete for the NCAA crown in Saturday’s Frozen Four finale against Providence and, this June, the 18-year-old is expected to be one of the top two picks at the draft.
Needless to say, it’s been quite the year for Eichel.
His scoring exploits have been well documented — Eichel racked up 67 points in just 38 games, finishing as the Hockey East scoring champion, Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, First Team Hockey East and a member of the All-Rookie Team. Eichel also let the country in assists, power play points and plus-minus.
Eichel became the third Terrier to win the Hobey, joining Chris Drury (1998) and Matt Gilroy (2009)… Earlier in the day, McIntyre won the Mike Richter Award as the top college goalie in the country… Vesey led all NCAA skaters in goals this season, with 32 in 37 games… McIntyre is a Boston draftee, Vesey is a Nashville draftee.