CHICAGO (AP) Denver senior Will Butcher has won the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey.
Butcher is the first defenseman to win the honor since Matt Gilroy in 2009 and the seventh overall since it was first handed out in 1981.
Butcher, a fifth-round selection by the Colorado Avalanche, has seven goals and a team-high 30 assists in 42 games. Butcher and the Pioneers will face Minnesota Duluth in the Frozen Four final Saturday night.
Forwards Zach Aston-Reese of Northeastern and Mike Vecchione of Union were the other finalists for the honor.
Baker was a football and hockey star for Princeton and the biggest name in hockey before serving in the Army Air Corps during World War I. He was 26, already scheduled to be shipped home, when he was killed in a plane crash in France.