CHICAGO — Senior defenseman Will Butcher of the University of Denver was named the 2017 Hobey Baker Award winner. The honor is named for Baker, who was a football and hockey star at Princeton. He was hockey’s brightest name when he was killed in a plane crash in France during the final days of World War I. The announcement came during the NCAA Frozen Four festivities at the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier in Chicago.
Butcher was this year’s National Collegiate Hockey Conference player of the year. He had seven goals and 30 assists for 37 points and was Denver’s captain this season.
The two-time All-America hails from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, a suburb of Madison. Butcher grew up playing for the Madison Capitols youth program before leaving home in 2011 to join the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. He played two seasons with the NTDP which was then located in Ann Arbor, Mich.