Coming off a stellar season during which he helped make the University of Maine a contender in Hockey East, Jeremy Swayman is in line for college hockey’s greatest honor.
The Black Bears’ departing junior goaltender on Thursday was named one of three Hat Trick Finalists for the prestigious Hobey Baker Memorial Award presented to the best player in Division I hockey.
The other finalists were University of Minnesota-Duluth junior defenseman Scott Perunovich, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Player of the Year and Offensive Defenseman Award winner, and University of North Dakota junior right wing Jordan Kawaguchi, the NCHC Forward of the Year.
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The three finalists were selected from the list of Top Ten candidates by the 30-member selection committee and through an additional round of online fan balloting. Criteria for the award include: displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.
UMaine head coach Red Gendron was elated with the news.
“I feel terrific about it for Jeremy and our program,” Gendron said. “He had a hell of a year and earned his spot in the final three.”
Swayman, a fourth-round draft pick of the Boston Bruins in 2017, recently signed a pro contract with the organization.
This season at UMaine, he played more than 2,000 minutes and led the nation in saves with 1,099, a school record. Swayman also posted a 2.07 goals-against average and his .939 save percentage ranked second in the nation.
He faced 1,170 shots and allowed just 71 goals while posting 30 saves or more 25 times, including two 40-plus-save games and a 52-stop performance.
Swayman previously was recognized as the Hockey East Player of the Year and as a finalist for the Mike Ritcher Award.
He boasts a 3.38 grade point average at UMaine while studying business administration with a management concentration.
Perunovich was the nation’s No. 2 point producer among defensemen with 40 (6 goals, 34 assists). The 34 assists ranked second among all skaters behind Providence right wing Jack Dugan (42).
Perunovich is a second-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues and has signed a contract with the organization.
Kawaguchi was the nation’s No. 2 scorer with 45 points (15 goals, 30 assists). He led the nation in game-winning points with 13 on five goals and eight assists.
This year’s Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced live at 11 p.m. on Saturday, April 11, during ESPN’s SportsCenter show. The 40th annual Hobey Baker Award segment also will include the announcements of the Hockey Humanitarian Award, the College Hockey Coaches Association’s East and West All-America Teams and the Richter Award for the nation’s top college hockey goalie.