Two of Penn State’s most entertaining players are up for the most prestigious award in college hockey. For the second straight year, Andrew Sturtz and Denis Smirnov have been nominated for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given annually to the top player in the NCAA.
Sturtz and Smirnov are among the 67 initial nominees for the award, 15 of which come from the Big Ten. The group will be narrowed down to the top 10 following the opening round of fan voting, which concludes March 5. The top 10 will again be narrowed down via fan vote to the Hobey Hat Trick, which will be announced March 29.
The Award presentation will take place on April 6 during the Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn.
Sturtz leads the Nittany Lions in scoring this season and is on pace for his most productive year with the team. Known more for his goal-scoring prowess, Sturtz has already registered a career-high 19 assists, to go along with his 11 goals. His 30 points are seven shy of his career best 37 from last season. With 10 games remaining in the regular season, the junior forward should shatter his personal mark this season.
After leading the team in scoring as a freshman last season, Smirnov has continued his torrid pace in his sophomore year. Despite missing eight games with an illness, Smirnov is sixth in team scoring with 19 points and second in goals with 10.
The two will look to further their Hobey Baker resumes over the weekend as the No. 12 Lions travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. for a matchup with No. 20 Michigan.