The Hobey Baker Award organization announced more than 50 nominees for its 2021 award, given to college hockey's top player, and Minnesota is well represented with 11 players either from the state or playing for one of the state's five Division I men's programs.

For the Gophers, goalie Jack LaFontaine is the lone nominee.

Minnesota Duluth has three players nominated: forwards Noah Cates, Cole Koepke and Nick Swaney.

Minnesota State Mankato also has three nominees: forwards Cade Borchardt and Nathan Smith, and goalie Dryden McKay.

For St. Cloud State, forward Veeti Miettinen and defenseman Nick Perbix were nominated.

Other Minnesotans nominated were North Dakota defenseman Matt Kiersted (who joins UND forwards Jordan Kawaguchi and Shane Pinto) and Quinnipiac forward Odeen Tufto.

Also among the nominees is Boston College forward Matt Boldy, a first-round draft pick of the Wild.

Phase 1 fan voting is now open runs through March 7 with the top 10 finalists announced March 17, the Hobey Hat Trick released on April 1 and the award winner announced April 9.

Criteria for college hockey's top honor include candidates exhibiting the exceptional character traits of the award's namesake, Hobey Baker. A legendary American hero, Baker was a World War I fighter pilot and was known as America's greatest amateur athlete in his day, excelling at hockey and football at Princeton. Award candidates must demonstrate strength of character both on and off the ice, contribute to the integrity of his team and display outstanding skills in all phases of the game. Consideration should be given to scholastic achievement and sportsmanship.