(ISN) – Justin Schultz, a junior at the University of Wisconsin and a former Westside Warriors defenceman, and Austin Smith, a senior at Colgate University and a former Penticton Vees forward, are among the final 10 in the running for the Hobey Baker Award.
Schultz is a native of West Kelowna and in 2008 was a second-round draft pick of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. This is his second consecutive year in the final 10 Hobey Baker candidates, making him the first Wisconsin Badger to be so recognized. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound blueliner led the NCAA in defenceman scoring with 44 points and he led the Badgers with 16 goals.
In a BCHL career of 108 games with the Warriors, Schultz tallied 25 goals and 66 assists.
Smith, a native of Dallas, Texas, was a fifth-round draft pick of the NHL’s Dallas Stars in 2007. This season, he leads the NCAA with 36 goals of which six are shorthanded, also tops in the nation. His Colgate Raiders play the Union College Dutchmen in the next round of the playoffs.
In the 2007-08 season with the Vees, the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder scored 32 goals and 35 assists in 60 games.
The other finalists are Spencer Abbott of Maine, Jack Connolly of Minnesota-Duluth, Brian Dumoulin of Boston College, Troy Grosenick of Union, Shawn Hunwick of Michgan, Tim Kirby of Air Force, Torey Krug of Michigan State and Reilly Smith of Miami-Ohio.
The 10 nominees were chosen from voting by all 58 Division I college hockey head coaches and by online fan balloting at www.hobeybakeraward.com. Now, the 23-member Selection Committee and more fan balloting at the above website will determine the Hobey Hat Trick of three finalists, to be announced March 29.
The winner of the Hobey Baker Award will be announced April 6 in Tampa, Fla., the home of the 2012 Frozen Four NCAA Division I men’s hockey tournament.