Porter wins Hobey Baker
The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation announced today that Phoenix Coyotes prospect Kevin Porter, a senior at the University of Michigan, has won the 2008 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player.
Porter, 22, ranks 2nd in Division I scoring with 33-30-63 in 43 games. The Michigan captain finished his collegiate career with 85-98-183 and 115 penalty minutes (PIM) in 162 games.
Porter was selected by the Coyotes in the fourth round (119th overall) of the 2004 Entry Draft.>> team release
Hobey Baker winners have had mixed success at the pro level, given that many top youngsters leave the NCAA for the NHL before they're able to win the league MVP. Some notables among current NHLers who have won include Matt Carle, Jordan Leopold, Ryan Miller, Mike Mottau, Chris Drury, Brendan Morrison and Paul Kariya.
If you go further back, Neal Broten and Tom Kurvers won in the early '80s.
This year, the other finalists were Nathan Gerbe from Boston College and Ryan Jones from Miami University. Gerbe's a pint-sized Sabres prospect, and Jones was drafted by the Wild (and is currently playing in the AHL with Houston). Porter and Gerbe are Michigan guys; Jones is from Chatham, Ontario.
In any event, it's good news for Phoenix that Porter put up the kind of year he did four years after being drafted out of the U.S. national under-18 program. He's not the biggest player around, but is considered one of the top defensive forwards in NCAA hockey and that would set him up nicely for a pro career.
Expect him to get some time in the NHL next season in Phoenix.