The Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced during a 6 p.m. program on ESPNU next Friday (April 8) in St. Paul during the Frozen Four.
The three finalists were named this afternoon, and they are North Dakota winger Matt Frattin, Miami of Ohio center Andy Miele and Boston College winger Cam Atkinson.
NORTH DAKOTA NOMINEE
Frattin, a 6-foot senior, leads the nation with 36 goals. He was the WCHA player of the year and is the only one of the three finalists who will be playing at the Frozen Four. He is from Edmonton and the Toronto Maple Leafs hold his draft rights.
He was suspended for the first half of his junior season for several off-ice transgressions, but has turned heads this season. He was the WCHA player of the year. He is second in the nation in points with 60. He scored the game-winning goal in both of the Sioux's two victories in the Final Five.
Frattin's major is recreation and tourism studies; he is a two-time WCHA all-academic pick. He has been active with the Grand Forks rescue mission and park district and the Sioux kids club.
Miele is a 5-8 senior who was the CCHA player of the year and led the nation in assists with 47 and points with 71 -- 11 more than Frattin -- in 39 games. Miami was upset in the NCAA playoffs last weekend. From Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., Miele is an NHL free agent.
His 56 points in CCHA games was the most in 19 years.
The RedHawks assistant captain is an American studies major with a coaching minor. Miele helped build a house for Habitat for Humanity, volunteered at a children's home, and visited a retirement home and local elementary schools.
Atkinson, a 5-8 junior, signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets this week after BC was eliminated from the NCAA playoffs. The native of Greenwich, Conn., had 31 goals and 52 points this season and was a Hockey East first-team pick. He led the Eagles in scoring last season when they won the NCAA title and again this season.
He was second in the nation in goals this season -- behind Frattin. Atkinson, a communications major, has been a youth hockey volunteer coach, visited hospitals and worked on several projects with elementary schools.
The winner of the Hobey Baker Award will be chosen on these qualities:
* strength of character on and off the ice
* outstanding hockey skills
* sportsmanship and scholastic achievement
* compliance with NCAA rules
The 58 Division I coaches and fan voting on a list of 50-some names determined the 10 finalists.
Another round of online fan voting and a 23-person selection determined the top three -- which were announced on Wednesday -- and the winner who will be named April 8. The 30th annual Hobey Baker Award banquet will be June 23 at the RiverCentre.
On the selection committee are media members, NHL scouts, college coaches and one representative of USA Hockey.
Frattin led in the final round of fan voting, from March 18-27, with 2,413 votes; next was Miele with 570.
The wildcard this year is how will members of the selection committee view Frattin. Will they hold his dismissal from his team against him, or will they admire him for rejoining the Sioux and what he has done this season?