Will Butcher wins Hobey Baker, named 2017 national player of the year

CHICAGO – Will Butcher has been named the recipient of the 2017 Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey’s national player of the year. Butcher becomes the University of Denver’s second Hobey Baker Award recipient. Matt Carle won the award as a defenseman in 2006.

The award recognized Butcher’s stellar senior season in which he racked up seven goals and 30 assists. As a result, the Sun Prairie, Wisconsin native was named the NCHC Offensive Defenseman of the Year, NCHC Player of the Year, and first-team All-American from the west.

“I’m honored to be chosen for such a prestigious award,” Butcher said in his acceptance speech. “There are a lot of people that have helped me along the way that have helped me to be here today. I thank my teammates because without them, this honor would not have been possible. I believe this award to be a team award. As I accept this award, I accept it on behalf of the entire team at DU.”

The Hobey Baker Award is the premiere award in all of college hockey, and to be named its recipient secures Butcher’s place among college hockey immortals.

The runners up to the award were Union College’s Mike Vecchione and Northeastern University’s Zach Aston-Reese. Both forwards tallied 63 points in their 2016-17 seasons. In winning the award, Butcher becomes the first defenseman since Boston University’s Matt Gilroy in 2009.

Butcher will attempt to finish the job this weekend in the National Championship tomorrow night against Minnesota Duluth. If Denver wins, Butcher will be the first Hobey Baker Award winner to win the National Championship since Gilroy in 2009.