Luke Hughes Named Finalist for Hobey Baker Award

Devils 2021 first round draft pick Luke Hughes has been named a top ten finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

The Hobey Baker Award is given annually to the best college hockey player in the nation. Hughes is a freshman defenseman at the University of Michigan.

As noted by Leen Amin of EliteSportsNY.com, “Hughes is the only defenseman among the ten finalists. And the only freshman among the finalists as well.”

The only other Michigan Wolverine in among the finalists this year is Matty Beniers, a 2021 Seattle Kraken draft pick.

Hughes was earlier named co-winner of the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award along with Jakub Dobes – a goaltender from Ohio State. Amada Stein noted in an article on NewJerseyDevils,com that Hughes and Dobes together “are the first non-forwards to win the league’s rookie of the year award.”

In addition, Hughes was named a member of the Second-Team All-Big Ten Team and the Big Ten All-Freshman Team, both according to Stein.

Stein also said in her profile on Hughes that he led the NCAA in scoring among defensemen this season with 36 points (17 goals and 19 assists) over 37 games – averaging nearly a point per game. Those 17 goals, Stein said, is “a new Michigan record for a freshman defenseman” eclipsing Dean Turner’s 13 scoring in 1975-76.

His 36 points total are also a record for a Wolverine defenseman. That record was previously held by Jack Johnson, who notched 32 in his freshman year. Luke’s brother Quinn had 29 in his first season at Michigan.

The Wolverines won the Big Ten men’s hockey tournament yesterday with a 4-3 win over the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The 2022 Big Ten champs will now get ready for the NCAA Tournament with the NCAA Ice Hockey Selection Show airing tonight on ESPNU.

Hughes was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team along with teammates, forwards Beniers, Brendan Brisson and Mackie Samoskevich, defenseman Jackson LaCombe and goalie Erik Portillo (who was also named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player).

The NCAA Tournament regionals will begin Thursday, March 24. The 2022 Men’s Frozen Four will start on Thursday, April 7 and conclude on Saturday, April 9 from the TD Garden in Boston.

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