University of Denver captain, Will Butcher, won the 2017 Hobey Baker award, given annually to college hockey's most outstanding player.
"It's a team award and I wouldn't' have been up there without the guys and the staff at DU," Butcher said. "It's an amazing year we've had but we're not done yet, we've got one more game (Saturday)."
Put simply, Butcher is the best player on the best team in the country. The Pioneers have been the number one ranked team for much of the season and Butcher's play and leadership are a big reason why.
"Clearly he's been the most valuable player on one of the elite teams in the country. I'm glad the voters saw his value and the way he's been able to lead this team," head coach Jim Montgomery.
DU claims Hobey Baker and Mike Richter awards on eve of national championship
The Colorado Avalanche prospect was the top defender in the country in the plus category this year (52). His plus/minus of 27 is also tied for third in the nation among defenders while is 40 points is second best for defenseman this year. He will deflect any praise to his team.
"From the bottom of my heart, those guys are such an amazing group of guys. I love each and every one of them and will be sharing this with them," Butcher said.
The senior has maintained all year that it's an honor to be one of the Hobey Baker nominees but would gladly give it up for a national championship. He'll have that chance Saturday in Chicago. Butcher and the Pioneers will play against Minnesota Duluth in the national championship game at the United Center. The puck drops at 6 p.m. Mountain Time.