March 16, 2022

Beniers, Hughes, Levi all among Hobey Top-10 Finalists

Top prospects Matthew Beniers, Luke Hughes, and Devon Levi were among the 10 finalists named to the Hobey Baker Award, the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation announced Wednesday. 

The Hobey Hat Trick top three finalists will be announced on Thursday, March 31. The winner will be revealed on Friday, April 8 during the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four in Boston. 

Beniers, the No. 2 pick of the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Draft, is a first-team All-Big Ten selection and finalist for Player of the Year after a standout season with the University of Michigan. He missed games representing Team USA at both the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship and 2022 Beijing Olympics, and still led the league with 26 points in 18 games to earn the Big Ten scoring award. Overall, Beniers finished with 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) in 33 games. 

Hughes, Beniers’ Michigan teammate and the No. 4 pick of the New Jersey Devils in 2021, was the nation’s top-scoring defenseman with 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists) in 37 games, and led all Big Ten players in goals with 13. He was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and second-team all-Big Ten, and was second among all Freshmen in the country in scoring. 

Levi, originally drafted by the Florida Panthers and later traded to the Buffalo Sabres, is 21-8-1 with a 1.47 goals-against average, third in the nation, and .954 save percentage, first overall, with 10 shutouts, which ranks second. He is the Hockey East Goalie of the Year and Rookie of the Year, and was a finalist for Player of the Year for his efforts at Northeastern University.  

Other drafted prospects named to the top-10 include Bobby Brink of the University of Denver and Nathan Smith of Minnesota State University. 

Brink was the lone unanimous selection to the All-NCHC First Team this season, and captured the NCHC scoring title with 35 points (nine goals, 26 assists) in conference play. Overall, he paced the NCAA with 55 points (14 goals, 41 assists) in 36 games — seven more than any other player. He also led the country with a 1.53 points-per-game mark. 

Smith, who represented Team USA at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, tied for his team lead in scoring with 48 points (18 goals, 30 assists), finishing second in the nation in scoring. He was also named CCHA Forward of the Year on Wednesday.

Here is the full list of finalists:

Matthew Beniers – University of Michigan – Seattle Kraken
Bobby Brink – University of Denver – Philadelphia Flyers
Brian Halonen – Michigan Tech – Undrafted
Luke Hughes – University of Michigan – New Jersey Devils
Devon Levi – Northeastern University – Buffalo Sabres
Dryden McKay – Minnesota State University – Undrafted
Ben Meyers – University of Minnesota- Undrafted
Yanev Perets – Quinnipiac University – Undrafted
Nathan Smith  Minnesota State University – Winnipeg Jets
Bobby Trivigno – University of Massachusetts – Undrafted

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