On Thursday night, five days after the University of Maine men’s hockey team was eliminated from the Hockey East quarterfinals, Gustav Nyquist received some consolation.
Nyquist, the Black Bears junior right wing, was named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top player in Division I college hockey.
“I’m a little surprised,” said Nyquist, who gave credit to his teammates and linemates when discussing the individual nomination. “There’s so many good players out there in college hockey. It must be really tough to narrow it down to 10 (finalists), then to three. Just being nominated as one of the top 10, it’s a huge honor. There are so many players who could be in that top 10.”
Nyquist is Maine’s leading scorer this season and is currently Hockey East’s second-leading scorer with 18 goals and 33 assists in 36 games.
The other finalists are: Chase Polacek, RPI; Andy Miele and Carter Camper, Miami (Ohio); Cam Atkinson, Boston College; Paul Thompson, New Hampshire; Paul Zanette, Niagara; Jack Connolly, Minnesota-Duluth; Justin Schultz, Wisconsin; and Matt Frattin, North Dakota.
This is the second year Nyquist has been named a Hobey Baker Award finalist. Last year, Nyquist was one of three Hobey Hat Trick finalists, joining New Hampshire’s Bobby Butler and Wisconsin’s Blake Geoffrion.
Geoffrion, now with the Nashville Predators, won the 2010 Hobey Baker Award.
Nyquist did not comment on his future in hockey, either at Maine or with the Detroit Red Wings, who hold his NHL rights. But the Black Bears remain mathematically alive for an NCAA tournament bid, putting talk of other plans on hold.
Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or at: