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Posted - 03/29/2009 :  10:39:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation has announced the top ten candidates for the 2009 Hobey Baker Award, a trophy honouring college hockey’s top player. Past winners include Matt Carle (2006), Jordan Leopold (2002), Ryan Miller (2001), Chris Drury (1998), Brendan Morrison (1997), and Paul Kariya (1993).

As you can see, there are some heavy-hitting names on that list, and aside from Paul Kariya, none (listed above) have been selected in the first round of their respective NHL Entry Draft classes.

With that in mind, it is advisable to get to know your 2009 Hobey Baker Award finalists. To start off, we look at five of the ten nominees, and with the exception of Colin Wilson, none of the names listed below are likely to ring a lot of bells... yet.

Louie Caporusso, Michigan
Selected by the Ottawa Senators, 3rd round (90th overall) in 2007
Position: Forward

Caporusso is a smallish forward, measuring in at 5-10 and 185 lbs, who is a fast skater with a good shot. He led the Michigan Wolverines in faceoff percentage this year winning at a 57.4% clip, and has scored a career-high 24 goals (49 points).

Professor's Notes: He will likely have to prove that he can carry this production over to the AHL before getting a shot with the Senators and it is still unknown whether or not the native of Toronto, Ontario plans to finish out his tenure at college or turn pro in 2009-10.

Jacques Lamoureux, Air Force Academy
Position: Forward

Lamoureux sat out the 2007-08 season as a transfer from Northern Michigan, but there appeared to be no rust as he has had a marvellous 2008-09 season, leading the nation with 32 goals (52 points) in 39 games. 15 of his goals have come on the power play, and incredibly, nine of them were game-winners.

Lamoureux battled depression as a high schooler, and by all accounts has his life – especially his hockey career – back on track.

Professor's Notes: He has a great shot that he will use from anywhere on the ice. Expect to see Lamoureux get some looks as a free agent from NHL teams, although he will likely need to further hone his game before he is ready for the NHL.

Jamie McBain, U. Wisconsin
Selected by the Carolina Hurricanes, 2nd round (63rd overall) in 2006
Position: Defense

Of all the players on this list, Jamie McBain may be the most NHL ready. We have been touting him internally here at SYP for a year now, and he nearly made our latest Top-60 prospects list. WCHA’s player of the year, McBain possesses good size and tremendous offensive skill. His 37 points this year marked a career best and his breakout season did not surprise...

“He’s one of those men that make people around him better offensively.” Said Mike Eaves, head coach at Wisconsin and father of Hurricane’s forward Patrick Eaves. “Offense is truly his gift, and he has things there that you don’t teach.”

“He’s probably what you would consider a man among boys at this point in college,” said Carolina Hurricanes vice-president and assistant GM Jason Karmanos.

Professor's Notes: McBain could be NHL bound as early as next season and he has a bright future as a top-4 defenseman, with the potential to be a top-2 pivot and power-play quarterback.

Matt Gilroy, Boston University
Position: Defense

There has actually been quite a lot of buzz circulating around Matt Gilroy the past few months. He has been courted already be several NHL teams, all of whom look at him as a steady defender who rarely gets out of position and plays a thinking-man’s game. It is possible that Gilroy is this year’s Fabian Brunnstrom, as Gilroy will be 25-years old in July and not subject to the NHL’s entry-level contract cap limits, meaning that he could go to the highest bidder.

Professor's Notes: The Toronto Maple Leafs are believed to be heavily scouting him already and it is rumoured that Brian Burke has scouted him personally while in his hometown of Boston.

Chad Johnson, U. Of Alaska-Fairbanks
Selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5th round (125th overall) in 2006
Position: Goaltender

Chad Johnson has had a remarkable season for the Alaska Nanooks, finishing with a 1.70 GAA and .937 GAA, which ranks among the top netminders in NCAA Division I hockey. His 6-2, 200 lbs frame covers a lot of net and he compliments his size with a good glove hand and excellent rebound control.

Johnson displays patience and calmness between the pipes and he acknowledges that he looks up to goaltenders Roberto Luongo and Martin Brodeur as influence in that area.

Professor's Notes: It’s tough to project just how far away Johnson is from making his NHL debut. This is his final year of college eligibility, so he will be turning pro next year. He can be likened to Jonathan Quick in Los Angeles, another college standout who needed only opportunity to make him fantasy relevant.


March 25 is the day that you can start registering your playoff pool leagues and teams at! Check out the 2008-09 Playoff Draft Guide – we worked really hard to bring you some valuable information to help you win your league. There’s some really interesting stuff that I have not seen in any other playoff guide, so I urge you to pick up a copy.

Ray Irwin writes for, the most complete fantasy hockey advice website on the internet. Featuring player and prospect rankings and interviews, daily starting goalies, buy low/sell high, injury reports, goalie carousel, and lots more...come on over to and Get Educated!

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