Scott Perunovich, a junior defenseman from Minnesota Duluth, has gained the 2020 Hobey Baker Award, given yearly to the highest NCAA males’s ice hockey participant.
“I am extraordinarily commemorated and humbled to be this yr’s Hobey Baker Award recipient,” Perunovich mentioned all through an interview with SportsCenter.
Perunovich is the 6th Minnesota Duluth participant to win the Hobey Baker Award, becoming a member of defenseman Tom Kurvers (1984), proper wing Invoice Watson (1985), left wing Chris Marinucci (1994), proper wing Junior Lessard (2004) and middle Jack Connolly (2012).
Perunovich referred to as it a “privilege to enroll in them.”
A vote by means of all 60 Department I hockey head coaches and fan vote casting created a box of 10 finalists for the award. 3 gamers from that workforce had been decided on by means of a 30-member variety committee and further fan balloting for the “Hobey Baker Hat Trick” of finalists.
At the side of Perunovich, the finalists had been Jordan Kawaguchi, a junior ahead from the College of North Dakota, and Jeremy Swayman, a junior goaltender from the College of Maine.
Perunovich helped the Bulldogs to back-to-back NCAA nationwide championships as a freshman and sophomore. His group used to be ranked 5th within the country when the NCAA season used to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Bulldogs had been in the hunt for the primary three-peat since Michigan’s in 1951-53.
“The expectancy is all the time a countrywide championship, and I’ve been lucky sufficient to be part of two of them,” Perunovich instructed SportsCenter.
He mentioned it used to be “clearly now not the top of the season we would have liked,” however he said the “a lot larger image” of the COVID-19 disaster and expressed gratitude for all of the “frontline women and men on this fight.”
Perunovich had 40 issues in 34 video games this season, the second-most issues by means of a defenseman within the NCAA. He had 105 issues in 115 profession video games. He used to be a first-team All-American as a freshman and a second-team All-American as a sophomore, and he appears to be like to be one once more as a junior — an extraordinary feat for a school defenseman.
“He’s a difference-maker, that is needless to say,” Minnesota Duluth trainer Scott Sandelin mentioned in a remark. “He is the kind of have an effect on participant who can take keep watch over of a sport. He is had an amazing season — and an amazing three-year profession right here — and is indisputably deserving of this award.”
The Hibbing, Minnesota, local used to be decided on 45th general by means of the St. Louis Blues within the 2018 NHL draft. He agreed to a two-year entry-level contract with the Blues in March. If the NHL restarts its common season, his contract would get started this season; if now not, it is going to get started subsequent season. If he hadn’t signed with St. Louis, Perunovich would were eligible to develop into a loose agent on Aug. 15.
ESPN faculty hockey analyst Chris Peters ranked the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Perunovich 45th on his listing of the highest 50 NHL-affiliated possibilities.
Wrote Peters in his scouting file: “Perunovich has the power to keep watch over shifts on the collegiate point and makes one of the most country’s easiest groups higher when he is at the ice. He’s taking care of his personal zone and has an competitive sport at each ends of the ice. His skating is his easiest asset, as he can break out force and get pucks up ice temporarily. He sees the ice smartly and has an ideal really feel for the sport in transition. Perunovich will search for the cross lengthy ahead of he considers a shot and distributes extraordinarily smartly. Issues about his measurement were reduced because of his skating, hockey sense and stepped forward bodily power. He used to be extra bodily this season and gave opposing gamers extra issues within the bodily sport. There wasn’t a skater within the NCAA who had a better have an effect on on his group’s luck than Perunovich did this season. He might be an NHL contributor in an instant if the Blues want him.”