2 Gophers among 3 Hobey Baker finalists

The University of Minnesota men’s hockey team has two players who’ve been named finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, which is given each year to the top men’s college hockey player.

Gophers forwards Logan Cooley and Matthew Knies are among the finalists for the award, with the third finalist being Michigan forward Adam Fantilli.

The university says it’s the first time in nearly 15 years that a pair of teammates were named Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalists and just the third time since the selection process moved to its current format.

Cooley, the freshman from Pittsburgh, has recorded at least one point in 31 of the 37 games he’s played and has a team-best 57 points. That total ranks second nationally and fifth in single-season program history for a freshman, and Cooley also leads all NCAA players with 37 assists and a +37 rating.

Knies, a Phoenix product, leads Minnesota with 21 goals and was named the 2022-23 Big Ten Conference Player of the Year. The sophomore also leads the nation with seven game-winning goals and is the only player in program history with three overtime goals in a single season.

Fantilli, a freshman from Ontario, is the NCAA points leader with 64 and is second in goals with 29, earning him Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors.

Minnesota is one of just three NCAA teams to have at least four Hobey Baker winners in its history: Jordan Leopold (2002), Brian Bonin (1996), Robb Stauber (1988) and Neal Broten (1981).

This year’s Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced on April 7.