Three Colonials place on fan vote ballot for Hobey Baker Award


Nick Prkusic, NIck Jenny and Grant Hebert all appeared on the Hobey Baker fan ballot. Image(s) Credit: Nathan Breisinger/Garret Roberts

By Nathan Breisinger, Editor-in-Chief

Winning the Hobey Baker Award is an honor every college hockey player dreams of earning. This year, the Robert Morris men’s hockey team has three candidates on the initial ballot.

Fans will have the ability to cast their votes to narrow the list of over 60 players down to 10 finalists vying for the top NCAA men’s ice hockey player in the nation, including RMU seniors Nick Jenny and Nick Prkusic, as well as junior Grant Hebert.

Jenny, Prkusic, and Hebert, along with the rest of the players on the ballot, were nominated by the Division 1 men’s hockey schools’ athletic departments.

Leading a historic program start for Robert Morris, Jenny and Prkusic have guided the Colonials after entering the season named the team’s co-captains.

This year, Jenny has been the Colonials’ best defenseman, leading all blueliners with six goals and 12 points. The 5’10” defenseman has not only been impressive during five-on-five action, but Jenny has quarterbacked the power play to a drastic improvement from last season. Last year, the Colonials were only 13.8-percent successful on the power play, whereas this year, they are currently 23.5-percent on the man-advantage, with Jenny adding three goals to help the cause.

Atop of the Colonials statistic leaders, Prkusic leads the team with 21 points across 17 games played. Prkusic carried over the team-leading trend from last year as he totaled 28 points in 34 games as a junior. A St. Albert, Alberta native, Prkusic has consistently paired with freshman Randy Hernandez, which has turned into one of the most lethal duos in all of college hockey.

As a junior, Hebert has returned to form following a sluggish sophomore season, which saw him only dress for 17 games and score five times while adding seven assists. During his freshman campaign, Hebert showed promise as he recorded 10 points, along with five goals. Thus far, playing in every game in 2020-21, Hebert has notched career-highs in both assists and points with 12 and 17, respectively. Hebert paced the Colonials earlier this season with a four-point performance in a 5-4 victory over Canisius.

The last time the Robert Morris men’s hockey program had a player reach the top-ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Award came in 2016 when Zac Lynch earned the honor. Lynch put together an impressive stat line that season, scoring 25 times and posting 55 points, which was the second-highest in a single season for Robert Morris. The eventual Hobey Baker Award winner that season was then Harvard standout Jimmy Vesey.

Preceding Lynch, the only other player for Robert Morris to reach the top-ten finalists for college hockey’s top player was Cody Wydo during the season before Lynch’s finalist run. In 2014-15, Wydo totaled 20 goals and 23 assists for 43 points. That season, current Buffalo Sabre, Jack Eichel, walked away with the award.

The first round of voting for the Hobey Baker Award closes on March 8 at midnight.