Jack Eichel named 2015 Hobey Baker winner
(Photo credit: Rich Gagnon/BU Athletics)
Boston University freshman Jack
Eichel — a native of North Chelmsford, Mass. — won college hockey’s highest honor Friday night, being named the 2015 Hobey Baker recipient as college hockey’s best player for 2015.
“It’s unreal,” said Bob Eichel about his 18-year-old son. “He should be a senior in high school.”
The 6-foot-2, 194-pound Eichel becomes just the second freshman since Maine’s Paul Kariya in 1993 to win the Heisman of hockey, and the third BU player to win the award, following Matt Gilroy in 2009 and Chris Drury in 1998.
“I’ve met Chris Drury before,” Eichel said. “He says ‘enjoy yourself and make sure you remember the people who got you there.’”
That would also be his mom, Anne. “It was really nice to hear my name,” Eichel said. “I got choked up a bit when I looked down and saw my mom crying.”
Eichel is also a sure bet to go at No. 1 or No. 2 in June’s NHL Entry Draft after leading the nation in total points with 24 goals and 43 assists for 67 points into last night’s semifinal game where Eichel scored the first and last goals — with an assist in between — in BU’s dramatic 5-3 win over North Dakota. That punched BU’s ticket to Saturday night’s national championship game against Hockey East rival Providence College.
“A lot of people have given me advice [about leaving], but there’s no rush to go anywhere. Enjoy and live in the moment,” Eichel said about the big decision coming to turn pro.
The Hobey award, first handed out in 1981, is named in honor of Hobey Baker, the outstanding Princeton player who became a World War I pilot and was killed in a flight-training crash in France. It was presented at Mathews Arena, home of Northeastern University, and the oldest indoor hockey arena in America where Baker, himself, played on many occasions — formerly the Boston Arena
The other two “Hobey Hat Trick” finalists were Harvard forward Jim Vesey and North Dakota goaltender and Bruins’ draft pick Zane McIntyre, who was named earlier Friday as the 2015 Mike Richer Award recipient that goes to the nation’s top netminder.
Eichel and McIntyre sat side by side at the ceremony after meeting head to head in yesterday’s semifinal game.
Eichel led the NCAA in nearly every offensive category including assists (44), points (70), assists per game (1.13), points per game (1.76), power-play points (22), and plus-minus (plus-49) in 38 games played. He was also named both Hockey East Rookie of the Year and Hockey East Player of the Year.
Eichel and the rest of the BU Terriers punched a ticket down Commonwealth Avenue to the TD Garden for the Frozen Four after winning the Northeast Regional with wins over Yale and Minnesota-Duluth.
“I think this season I hit most of the things I wanted except one,” Eichel concluded. “Hopefully, I’ll cap a great season tomorrow. That’s the most important one — the national championship.”
(Bob Snow has covered the Frozen Four since 1998.)