BOSTON — Boston University freshman Jack Eichel won the Hobey Baker Award on Friday as the top player in college hockey.
Eichel, who is expected to be one of the first two players selected this year in the NHL draft, is just the second freshman to win the award in its 35-year history. The other was Paul Kariya, who won at Maine before going on to a 15-year NHL career in which he scored more than 400 goals.
The 18-year-old Eichel has 26 goals and 44 assists so far this season, including two goals and an assist at the Frozen Four on Thursday night to help the Terriers reach the NCAA championship game. They will play Providence at Boston's TD Garden on Saturday night.
After thanking his teammates and coaches, Eichel told his parents at the ceremony at Northeastern's Matthews Arena, "I get to play a game that I love every day because of everything you do for me."
The other finalists were Harvard forward Jimmy Vesey and North Dakota goalie Zane McIntyre.
Baker was a football and hockey star for Princeton and the biggest name in hockey before serving in the Army Air Corps during World War I. He was 26, already scheduled to be shipped home, when he was killed in a plane crash in France.