And your 2016 Hobey Baker Award winner is … Jimmy Vesey.
The Harvard senior had another big season to cap off his collegiate career, scoring 24 goals in only 33 games played, with 46 points. He beats out Michigan’s star freshman Kyle Connor, a Winnipeg Jets 2015 first-round pick, and Boston College junior goalie and Vancouver Canucks prospect Thatcher Demko for the award.
Now, exactly what does the future hold for Vesey?
You’ll recall the controversy last month after it was reported that he spurned the Nashville Predators, choosing not to sign with that team and opting instead to go to free agency this summer.
That caused quite a stir within the Predators organization.
(Though, you’d hardly know that by looking at this tweet from the Predators during the evening…)
Their assistant GM Paul Fenton even went on radio and outlined how, in February, he says he spoke with Vesey and the Nashville prospect replied by saying he was going to sign with the Predators.
Of course, this claim was disputed.
Here’s part of the statement from his camp at the end of last month:
Nashville now claims and it has been widely reported that they were without knowledge of this possibility and that this lack of knowledge precluded the hockey club from acquiring a player at the Trade Deadline. This contention is not accurate. The Nashville Predators were informed prior to the Trade Deadline that they should conduct their business as they saw fit, and that the potential of signing or not signing Jimmy Vesey should not be a factor in their decision.
As for Demko, he had a huge season for Boston College, posting a 27-8-4 record with a .935 save percentage and 10 shutouts. Naturally, his future plans are of great interest — perhaps even some anxiety, too — to fans in Vancouver. The Canucks selected him in the second round of the 2014 NHL Draft.
Connor, taken 17th overall last year by the Jets, impressed with 35 goals and 71 points in 38 games in his first year with Michigan. Does he now decide to turn pro, or go back to Michigan for his sophomore season?
Connor is a quiet 19-year-old, more comfortable with a stick in his hand than a microphone in his face. Mulling whether to turn pro — he was selected in the first round of the 2015 draft by the Winnipeg Jets — he hasn’t done any media interviews this week.