DETROIT - APRIL 09: Blake Geoffrion of Wisconsin poses with the Hobey Baker Award on April 9, 2010 during the Hobey Baker Award Ceremony at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Hobey Baker Award: Minnesota Duluth's Jack Connolly Named Top College Hockey Player

The ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top player in college hockey, have been announced. Two players with WCHA connections, Justin Schultz and Jack Connolly, are among the finalists. For more coverage on the WCHA, check out Western College Hockey.

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2012 Hobey Baker Award: UMD's Jack Connolly Named Top College Hockey Player

Minnesota Duluth may not have repeated as national champions this season but for one Bulldog the year has ended with the highest individual honor in college hockey.

Senior Jack Connolly was named the 2012 Hobey Baker Award winner Friday at a ceremony inside MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. The award is given out annually to the best player in NCAA Division 1 Hockey since 1981 and named after World War 1 veteran Hobey Baker, who played college hockey at Princeton.

It is the fifth time a Minnesota Duluth player has been awarded with the Hobey Baker, breaking a tie with Minnesota for the most winners. Tom Kurvers (1984), Bill Watson (1985), Chris Marinucci (1994) and Junior Lessard (2004) are the other UMD winners.

Connolly, a Duluth native, was named the WCHA Player of the Year after being second in the nation with 60 points (20 goals - 40 assists) in 41 games for the Bulldogs. He helped lead Minnesota Duluth to a second place finish in the WCHA regular season and the Northeast Region final where the Bulldogs lost 4-0 to Boston College. Jack currently is a undrafted free agent but will be signing with a team sooner rather than later.

The other two finalists for the award were Maine's Spencer Abbott and Colgate's Austin Smith.

For more college hockey coverage, be sure to check out Western College Hockey.

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College Hockey: Hobey Baker Award Announces Three Finalists; UMD's Jack Connolly Among Them

After being whittled down from 30 to 10 a couple weeks ago, there are now only three left in the race for college hockey's best player.

The Hobey Baker Award, which is given out to the best player in college hockey, announced Thursday the three finalists in the Hobey Hat Trick and includes Minnesota Duluth's Jack Connolly. The other two finalists are Maine's Spencer Abbott and Colgate's Austin Smith.

Connolly, a Duluth native, was named the WCHA Player of the Year after being second in the nation with 60 points (20 goals - 40 assists) in 41 games for the Bulldogs. He finds himself as the lone Western representative with Wisconsin's Justin Schultz not among the finalists. However, the senior's college career ended Sunday after UMD lost 4-0 to Boston College in the Northeast Region final.

Before that Minnesota Duluth defeated Spencer Abbott's Maine team in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Abbott, the Black Bears assistant captain, was named Hockey East Player of the Year after leading the nation with 62 points (21 goals - 41 assists) in 39 games. He signed a free agent contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs yesterday after the end of his senior season.

Austin Smith, a fifth-round pick of the Dallas Stars, led the nation with 36 goals - six more than the next closest player - en route to being named ECAC Player of the Year for Colgate.

The 32nd annual winner will be announced April 6th at 5:00 p.m. CT live on NHL Network.

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