Chicago Blackhawks prospects Tyler Motte and Nick Schmaltz are among 66 NCAA Division I hockey players nominated for the 2016 Hobey Baker Award.
The Hobey Baker Award is an annual award given to the top men's player since 1981. It's named for World Ward I veteran Hobey Baker, who played at Princeton. Baker was the lone American among the nine members inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame's inaugural class in 1945.
Motte, Chicago's fourth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, is tied for the nation lead in scoring at 18 goals with Michigan teammate and Winnipeg prospect Kyle Connor. Motte recorded a career-best five points, including his first hat trick in a 8-6 win over Ohio State last week. He was named the Big Ten's No. 1 star of the week after a seven-point week with four goals and three assists in a home-and-home against Ohio State.
Schmaltz, Chicago's first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, has three goals, 24 assists and 27 points in 22 games this season for North Dakota. He leads the NCHC and ranks third in the nation in assists and assists per game at 1.09. He was named the NCHC Player of the Month in November after scoring two goals and 13 assists. He also was a key member of the United States' Junior team that won bronze at the 2016 World Junior Championships earlier this month.
Ryan Duncan (2007) of North Dakota and Kevin Porter (2008 of Michigan were the last to win the award for their respective schools.
Division I coaches selected three players in their league and the top three players in the nation to come to 66 candidates. Fans can vote for their favorite player, which will help determine the top 10 candidates.