UW’s Schultz named Hobey Baker finalist

ST. PAUL, Minn — Wisconsin defenseman Justin Schultz has been named a top-10 finalist for college hockey’s prestigious Hobey Baker Memorial Award, earning the honor for a second straight year.

The Badgers now have had 12 finalists overall since the award was founded in 1981, including the only school in the country with a finalist in each of the last four seasons.

Schultz, a West Kelowna, B.C. native, leads the nation’s defenseman with 44 points and a 1.19 points-per-game mark. His 16 goals are tied for the national lead among defenseman, while his 28 assists rank second among rear guards.

Schultz was recently named the 2012 WCHA Defensive Player of the Year and a member of the 2012 All-WCHA first team. All three honors are the second straight for Schultz. His defensive player of the year honor made him the third player in league history to earn the honor twice.

Earlier this season, the assistant captain became the first Badger defenseman since Brian Rafalski in the 1994-95 season to reach the 100-point career mark. He used 10-game and seven-game point streaks to help reach the mark. Now at 113 points, Schultz is tied for eighth place among all UW defenseman in program history.

Schultz was a 2008 second-round draft choice (43rd overall) of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks.

The top 10 finalists will be narrowed down to three when the Hobey Hat Trick is announced March 29. The Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner will be announced April 6 at the Frozen Four.

The other Top-10 finalists for the 2012 Hobey Baker Award include forward Spencer Abbot (Maine), forward Jack Connolly (Minnesota Duluth), defenseman Brian Dumoulin (Boston College), goaltender Troy Grosenick (Union), goaltender Shawn Hunwick (Michigan), defenseman Tim Kirby (Air Force), defenseman Torey Krug (Michigan State), forward Austin Smith (Colgate) and forward Reilly Smith (Miami).