Aaron
Vickers
April 7, 2023

Fantilli captures Hobey Baker Award as top NCAA player

Adam Fantilli has been named recipient of the Hobey Baker Memorial Award.

Fantilli bested Arizona Coyotes prospect Logan Cooley and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect  Matthew Knies. Each played for the University of Minnesota. He is the projected No. 2 pick for the 2023 NHL Draft behind Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats in the Western Hockey League.

“Out of the three finalists, Fantilli was considered the favorite to win the trophy this year,” FCHockey scout Douglas Larson said. “From my end it wasn’t surprising whatsoever even though there were strong cases to be made for Knies or Cooley as well. He plays a passionate style out there, and is not afraid to mix it up during the play or after the whistle to bring his team into the fight. A little detail in his game but something that stood out for sure and ultimately helped his team get to the Frozen Four.”

The Hobey Baker is awarded to the most outstanding men’s NCAA player each season. Past recent winners include Cole Caufield (2021), Cale Makar (2019), Jack Eichel (2015), and Johnny Gaudreau (2014).

Fantilli, who led the NCAA in scoring with 65 points (30 goals, 35 assists), was also awarded the Tim Taylor award as the nation’s top freshman player, and a West First Team All-American after his 1.81 points-per-game average is the tops in the country this century.

He is the third freshman to capture the award after Eichel and Paul Kariya (1993).

The nod is a growing list of accolades for the Nobleton, Ontario product. Fantilli also helped Canada to gold at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, and held guide the Chicago Steel to a Clark Cup championship, earning MVP honors along the way, in 2021.

Cooley led Minnesota with 57 points (20 goals, 37 assists) in 37 games. Knies had 41 points (21 goals, 20 assists) in 41 games.


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