Eight USPHL alumni named as Hobey Baker Award nominees for 2020-21 college hockey season
The United States Premier Hockey League has announced that eight of its league alumni have been named as Hobey Baker Award nominees for the 2020-21 season.
The Hobey Baker Award, currently celebrating its 41st year, is given each year to the top player in NCAA Division I hockey. It is traditionally awarded on the day between the semifinals and final championship game of the NCAA Frozen Four tournament.
Past winners of the Hobey Baker Award from USPHL member organizations include back-to-back winners Jack Eichel (Boston Jr. Bruins alum) and Jimmy Vesey (South Shore Kings), who won the award in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Additionally, former South Shore King – then Walpole Stars – standout Matt Gilroy won the award in 2009.
USPHL Alumni Nominated for 2021 Hobey Baker Award
(listed in alphabetical order)
David Farrance, D, Boston University
Syracuse Jr. Stars (now Utica Jr. Comets) 16U, 2013-15
Farrance (pictured) scored 86 points in 60 regular season and playoff games for the former Stars in the USPHL 16U Division. He was voted Defenseman Of The Year in that division in both 2014 and 2015. He was also the 16U MVP in 2014-15.
He currently has 86 points in 108 career games for the Terriers, including a 4-10-14 line in just six games this season. Last year, he was a First Team All-American, First Team Hockey East and a Hobey Baker Award Finalist and he is currently an Alternate Captain for BU.
He was drafted in 2017, in the third round (92nd overall) by the Nashville Predators.
Jordan Harris, D, Northeastern University
Islanders Hockey Club 16U, 2014-15
Harris played 10 games in 2014-15 for the Islanders in 2015, scoring one assist. He also played in three additional playoff games, not registering a point. An alternate captain for the Huskies, he currently has a career line of 9-35-44 for Northeastern in 83 games, including 11 points in 10 games. He was drafted in 2018, in the third round (71st overall), by the Montreal Canadiens.
Alex Jefferies, LW, Merrimack College
Islanders Hockey Club 16U, 2016-18
A couple years after Harris moved on, Jefferies joined the Islanders’ 16U squad and led the USPHL 16U Division in goals with 33, part of a 33-20-53 line in just 25 games in 2017-18. All told, in 57 regular season and playoff games with the Islanders, he had 93 total points.
Currently a freshman at Merrimack, he scored a 4-6-11 line in his first 10 games. Jefferies was recently selected in the 2020 NHL Draft, a fourth-round selection (121st overall) by the New York Islanders.
Alex Limoges, C, Penn State University
South Kent Selects Academy USPHL 16U/18U, 2013-15
The captain of the Nittany Lions was one of the earliest USPHL 16U stars, playing a huge role for the Selects in the USPHL’s first season of 2013-14. That year, he scored a total of 56 points in 30 regular season and playoff games, helping Selects win the title. Moving to the 18U Selects in 2014-15, he was named Best Forward in the league after leading the league with 59 points in 28 regular season games. He added six points in four playoff games that year.
For Penn State, Limoges crossed the 100-point mark as a junior, and currently has 16 points in 18 games this year for 119 total points in 125 NCAA games. He was a Big Ten All-Tournament Team selection in 2019, when he led the NCAA with 50 points. He was a Big Ten Honorable Mention All-Star last year as he helped Penn State capture the regular season title. After graduation, Limoges will be a professional free agent.
Keith Petruzzelli, G, Quinnipiac University
Boston Jr. Bruins 16U, 2013-14
South Kent Selects Academy USPHL 18U, 2015-16
Petruzzelli was a powerful goaltender for the Junior Bruins’ first-ever USPHL 16U entry in 2013-14, posting a .924 save percentage and 1.31 goals against average in 11 games. Two years later, he made his return to the league with the Selects, earning Top Goaltender and MVP Awards for his .936 and 1.13 marks in 22 games. He also helped the Selects win that year’s USPHL 18U title.
Now a senior with Quinnipiac, he is building on an outstanding junior season with the Bobcats (21-10-2, 2.01, .920) as he has already won 10 games for a 10-5-3 record. His goals against is a shining 1.79 and his save percentage of .929 is top 10 in NCAA hockey. He was drafted in 2017, in the third round (88th overall) by the Detroit Red Wings.
Shane Pinto, C, University of North Dakota
South Kent Selects Academy USPHL 16U/18U, 2016-18
Just after the departure of Petruzzelli, the Selects got another star on their hands when Pinto joined the 16U squad. Although he didn’t play many games (13 total regular season games over two years), he was a better than point-per-game player with 14 points. He was even better in the playoffs both years, scoring seven points in four games at each level to win back-to-back championships.
Currently a sophomore for UND, Pinto has an 11-12-23 line in 18 games, coming off his Rookie Of The Year season in the NCHC last year. During the holiday break, he was named a Top Three player for Team USA at the 2020 World Junior Championship, posting a 4-3-7 line in five games. He was drafted in 2019, in the second round (32nd overall), by the Ottawa Senators.
Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup, RW, University of Maine
South Kent Selects Academy, USPHL 16U, 2013-15
Boston Jr. Bruins, USPHL Premier, 2015-16
A former teammate of Limoges, the Dane scored 36 points in 28 games to help Selects to the first USPHL 16U title. Still young, he remained with the Selects 16U in 2014-15, leading the league in goals (40) and finishing his USPHL 16U career with 95 points in 51 games, good for fourth all-time at that level.
He then joined the Jr. Bruins’ top junior team, scoring 30 points in 35 games alongside future UMaine teammate Tim Doherty.
Currently a junior with the Black Bears, he has nine points in 10 games, and he has 41 points in 76 career NCAA games.
Alex Steeves, F, University of Notre Dame
New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs 16U, 2014-15
Steeves was the leading scorer for the Monarchs in 2014-15, posting 38 points in 28 games, and another five in four playoff contests.
In 2018, Steeves matriculated to the Fighting Irish, getting into 39 of their 40 games as a freshman. The next year, Steeves scored 28 points in 36 games and led the Fighting Irish to the Big Ten championship. Currently, Steeves has a 9-6-15 line in 18 games as a junior.
Additional Organizational Alumni
Four other players who have spent time with USPHL member organizations, but outside of the USPHL, were also named as Hobey Baker Award nominees.
Eduards Tralmaks, University of Maine
Spencer Knight, Boston College
Connecticut (Mid-Fairfield) Jr. Rangers
Zach Solow, Northeastern University
Matthew Boldy, Boston College
South Shore Kings
(Feb. 11, 2021)