Denver Defenseman Will Butcher Wins Hobey Baker Award

CHICAGO (AP/CBS4) — Denver senior Will Butcher picked up one nice trophy Friday. He is hoping to grab another one this weekend.

Butcher is the first defenseman to win the Hobey Baker Award since Matt Gilroy in 2009. The captain of the Pioneers will be back on the ice Saturday night against Minnesota Duluth in the Frozen Four final.

“It’s been a great ride, but we’re not done yet,” he said.

untitled sequence 790 7 Denver Defenseman Will Butcher Wins Hobey Baker Award

Will Butcher (credit: CBS)

Butcher is the second player from Denver to take home the Hobey, joining Matt Carle in 2006. Only seven defensemen have won the award given to the top player in college hockey.

“I believe this award to be a team award,” Butcher said. “Tonight, as I accept this award, I accept it on behalf of our entire team at DU.”

Butcher, a fifth-round selection by the Colorado Avalanche in 2013, has seven goals and a team-high 30 assists in 42 games. He also was the National Collegiate Hockey Conference player of the year.

Forwards Zach Aston-Reese of Northeastern and Mike Vecchione of Union were the other finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. Aston-Reese had 31 goals and 32 assists in 38 games for the Huskies, and Vecchione finished with 29 goals and 34 assists in 38 games for the Dutchmen.

Baker was a football and hockey star for Princeton and the biggest name in hockey before serving in the Army Air Corps during World War I. He was 26, already scheduled to be shipped home, when he was killed in a plane crash in France.

Former Harvard forward Jimmy Vesey won the award last year.

Late Friday, University of Denver junior netminder Tanner Jaillet was named the winner of the 2017 Mike Richter Award, presented to the NCAA’s most outstanding goaltender. Jaillet was presented the award in person at Kitty O’Sheas Restaurant and Bar in the Hilton Chicago Hotel as part of Frozen Four festivities.

Jaillet started 37 of DU’s 43 games while posting a 27-5-4 mark. His 1.83 goals-against average is third in the country. The junior – a business information and analytics major – was named NCHC Goaltender of the Week four times this season.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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