Penn State Hockey’s Peyton Jones, Cole Hults Named Hobey Baker Award Nominees
A pair of Penn State hockey stars were named as nominees for the Hobey Baker Award on Thursday afternoon.
Junior defenseman Cole Hults and senior goalie Peyton Jones are two of the 78 initial finalists for the award, which is college hockey’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy. You can vote for Hults and Jones to move onto the next phase of voting for the award here.
Jones is putting together an excellent bounce-back season in between the pipes for Guy Gadowsky’s squad. The senior currently leads the Big Ten in victories with 14 so far this term, and his save percentage and goals-against average of .926 and 2.37, respectively, have helped backstop the Nittany Lions to a 16-6-0 start. No active goaltender in the nation has won more games than Jones, who has 72 career victories to his name with Penn State.
Elsewhere, Hults has quietly continued to be one of Penn State’s best blueliners in a season that’s been a bit of a renaissance for the Nittany Lions’ back end. He leads the Big Ten with a plus-minus rating of +15, and the Los Angeles Kings’ fifth-round draft choice in 2017 also leads the conference in points with 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) in 22 appearances.
Although senior forward Nate Sucese, Penn State’s new all-time leader in goals and points, was perhaps snubbed from the list, it’s telling to see a Nittany Lion goaltender and defenseman be recognized as two of the nation’s best players. Guy Gadowsky’s team has typically struggled in its own end, but the Nittany Lions have conceded just 2.27 goals per game this year — a mark that’s tied for 15th in the nation. The average is also a drastic improvement from last year’s mark of 3.56 goals against per contest.
No. 6 Penn State (16-6-0, 8-4-0 Big Ten) will host Michigan for a pair of Big Ten games at Pegula Ice Arena this weekend. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday in Hockey Valley.
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