5. Joseph Duszak, D, Mercyhurst: The defenseman is nation’s No. 3 scorer (16-31—47). Can a player from Atlantic Hockey break through and win the award?

4. Scott Perunovich, D, Minnesota Duluth: There’s much more to his game than scoring (3-24—27), and he’s a big reason the Bulldogs have a chance to repeat as national champions.

3. Taro Hirose, F, Michigan State: Hirose leads the nation in scoring (15-35—50) and quickly signed with the Red Wings when the Spartans’ season ended.

2. Rem Pitlick, F, Minnesota: Ranks fourth nationally in scoring (21-24—45) and is tied for tops with 10 power-play goals. His 31 points since Dec. 28 are the most in the nation.

1. Jimmy Schuldt, D, St. Cloud State: Stuck around for his senior season and is the standout on a team of stars. Can score (9-22—31) and is a big reason why the No. 1-ranked Huskies are giving up only 2.15 goals per game.

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Minnesota State riding high with help from German connection