Rookie forward Kyle Connor almost became the second freshman in two years to earn the Hobey Baker as player of the year for the NCAA in hockey – but two-time nominee Jimmy Vesey took home the award instead, capping off a successful four year career with Harvard University.
The announcement that 22 year old Vesey took home the Hobey Baker Trophy was made in Tampa Bay on Friday evening, broadcast live on NHL Network for college hockey fans everywhere.
Vesey finished off his 2015-16 campaign with Harvard with 24 goals and 46 points in 33 games, good for the scoring lead on his roster by a full 12 year margin. He’ll cap off his college career with 80 goals and 144 points, which makes him one of the best players in Harvard school history.
The award was a close race, with Vesey being outscored by an impressive Connor (who recorded 71 points in 38 games for the University of Michigan this year) and goaltender Thatcher Demko carrying Boston College to success with impressive stats of his own. Ultimately, though, two nominations for the player of the year award finally yielded results for Vesey, who will walk into unrestricted free agency this summer (a decision announced earlier this spring, going against the expectation that he would sign with the Central Division’s Nashville Predators) off a happy ending to his collegiate hockey career.