Thread: WCHA Thread
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01-22-2011, 07:50 AM
  #277
RabidBadger
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We're far enough into the season where we can start thinking about potential Hobey finalists from the most feared conference in the land. I know fan voting is underway for HB, but I'm not sure if that's finalized yet so I have no real input on this aside from my own better judgement. Besides, it's been a while since I've provided some good material on here for other bloggers from more prominent sites to cherry pick from, but I digress. I'll go through each team and and list any players that may have a shot at the little bronze hockey man. This list will be comprised mostly of top point getters, we all know defensive prowess does not The Hobey win.

The award has been the Miami duo of Carter Camper and Andy Miele's to lose to this point. Camper has cooled off and Miami is struggling, while several WCHA teams are on the rise, so here is a list of players with potential to keep Hobey in the WCHA.

AA: None. Tommy Grant is the leading point getter with 20 points. He's a good player but not in the mix. I have to give a shout out to AA's coaching and very good freshman class.

The Mighty Beav!: None, but if you watch The Beav you can see Jordan George, Matt Read and Brad Hunt are game-changing players.

CC: Jaden Schwartz was well on his way to being in the mix until he went down with an injury in the WJC. Even if he doesn't play another game he's still the WCHA ROY in my book. Gabe Guentzel is a hell of a d-man, but not Hobey qualilty. Essentially no players.

DU: Drew Shore is having a great year...a lot of DU players are. He and goalie Sam Brittian would be fringe choices, though. Jason Zucker, Brittian and David Makowski have to get ROY consideration. DU's frosh class is the cream of the crap, there isn't a close second.

Tech: Poor Tech gets a big fat goose egg for this category, and many others. Milos Gordic has come out of nowhere to be a bright spot on the team. I'm shocked if Jamie Russell isn't shown the door after this year.

Minny: Jay Barribal (RabidBadger 1st teamer) has been the best player, but not Hobey nom material. Goalie Kent Patterson has done well on a team with no consistency. Final answer is none.

Mankato: Kurt Davis (another RB 1st teamer) is one of the best backliners in the business but not in terms of Hobey voting. I have to give a nom to Troy Jutting for coach of the year, however for taking one of the worst teams on paper in recent history and having them [repared every week.

Duluth: There's a lot of offensive flash on this team that Hobey voters love. Jack Connelly and Justin Fontaine lead the pack. Mike Connelly and very excellent freshman d-man, Jusitn Faulk could be dark horse candidates. Faulk should be in the ROY mix.

The Blais Brigade: This is a solid lineup with no real shining stars. I'd say Matt Ambroz could be a dark horse nom. This team has a very good frosh class...they will be trouble for years to come.

NoDak: Frattin is probably the best choice for the conference, BUT! off ice antics from last year will probably prohibit him getting the trophy as happened to Chief Oshie a couple years ago.. Genoway has caught fire, as I predicted, after a slow start but could end up in the Hat Trick. Aaron Dell has been shaky lately, but could be a dark horse.

St. Cloud: Drew LeBlanc is the only guy who showed up the first half of the season. With some help he might have been able to be in the mix. He and the freshman class have been the only bright spots the entire season. Props aside, no candidates.

Wisconsin: Justin Schultz continues to amaze and is the top candidate on this team and top 3 for the conference in my book. Hobey voting is not kind to underclassmen so I doubt he'd win. Craig Smith has caught fire, but has had some questionable on-ice antics this year and last. Scott Gudmandson could be a dark horse, he's top five in pretty much every goalie category. To me, Brittian and Dell have been the better goalies in the conference, though. Jake Gardner has the best chance of pulling a Ryan Duncan Hobey win...he does all the underated things to help Schultz be so dominant.

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