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Penn State Hockey: Barratt And Limoges Earn Hobey Baker Nominations

by on January 16, 2019 3:15 PM

Penn State might have its best shot ever at a legitimate Hobey Baker finalist as the program nominated forward Evan Barratt and Alex Limoges for the honor.

The Hobey Baker is given to the nation's top player at the end of the year. Teams are permitted to nominate up to three players for the honor per year.

The Hobey Hat Trick (three finalists) will be announced on April 4 and the Hobey Baker Memorial Award will be presented to the winner on April 12, 2019 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships in Buffalo, N.Y.

As of Wednesday both Barratt and Limoges are tied with 30 total points, second best in the nation behind do-it-all Michigan State forward Taro Hirose with 35 points.

With 81 other nominees in the initial phase of the honor, it's hard to say which players have a strong leg up in the race although Hirose ought to earn consideration for his point total alone while Arizona State's Johnny Walker and Quinnipiac defenseman Chase Priskie both have strong cases as well.

As for the two Nittany Lions, each have fairly similar resumes with Barratt picking up 13 goals and 17 assists in 19 games while Limoges has 11 goals and 19 assists through 22 appearances. They are averaging 1.5 and 1.3 points per game respectively.

In all likelihood, Barratt's national recognition as a member of the United State's World Junior silver medal team, in addition to his status as a Chicago Blackhawks draft choice might make him a more appealing candidate all things being equal. 

With 12 games left in the regular season, Barratt is on pace for 18.9 more points to bring his total to a rounded-up 49 points. Limoges at a slightly lower clip is on track to finish the year with 45 points. 

As is the case with all national awards how they each play and how that is perceived will have much to do with how Penn State does. If the Nittany Lions ride Barratt and Limoges to a top-half Big Ten finish and a third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, that would go a long way towards their claims. Especially if the Nittany Lions land a favorable draw during the final year of hosting regional play in Allentown and are able to advance to Buffalo.

Also true, points are really just the most noticeable aspect of a players' evaluation, game winning goals, power play points and other more specific stats can help as well. Those can often be the deciding factor in the overall resume.

How do they both generally stack up against previous winners? Unfortunately both will have their work cut out for them to match some of the most recent winners. Equally true, the 71 and 80 point seasons by Jack Eichell and Johnny Gaudreau are somewhat outside the norm for everyone, let alone potential Hobey honorees.

The past six winners:

  • Adam Gaudette: 60 points, 30 goals and 30 assists.
  • Will Butcher (D): 37 points, 7 goals and 30 assists.
  • Jimmy Vesey: 46 points, 17 goals and 30 assists.
  • Jack Eichel: 71 points, 26 goals and 45 assists.
  • Johny Gaudreau: 80 points, 36 goals and 44 assists.
  • Drew LeBlanc: 50 points, 13 goals and 37 assists.

Only time will tell if Barratt and Limoges are able to keep up their first half pace, but if they do, they'll deserve to be in the conversation as much as anyone in the nation. 

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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