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By Alex Annun
With the NCAA hockey season just a few weeks away commitments for future recruitment classes have for the most part been taken care of and the focus is on the current crop of players and how quickly they can mesh together and make an impact for their teams as the quest for the Frozen Four begins. The teams that make it that far into the season can often point to certain players that have helped them get that far, and that is what we are going to dive into today – who are some of the players that could find themselves on the Hobey Baker Top Ten Finalists List come early spring? Most of the players nominated last year have moved on to the next phase of their hockey careers opening up plenty of spots for fresh faces, but some of the standout players from last year remain and will look to improve upon what they did last year. Let’s start off with some of the players who featured as finalists last year before moving on to players looking to take the next step and earn those honors.
Devon Levi – Goalie, Northeastern University (Buffalo Sabres)
While technically a sophomore last year, Devon Levi missed his freshman year due to injury and showed up in a big way in his first season for the Huskies. Levi compiled a record of 22-9-1 with a 1.54 GAA and .952% save percentage and 10 shutouts en route to winning Goalie of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Northeastern’s first ever regular season Hockey East title. It could be argued that he was deserving of the Hobey Baker Award last year as well after Dryden McKay won it despite not winning Goalie of the Year, but Levi has a chance to prove he is deserving of the prestigious award in his second season with the Huskies. The Buffalo Sabres prospect has had success at every level of the game and he will look to continue to build upon that with a Northeastern team that will see some new and talented faces get added to the roster while the returning players all have another year of development and maturity under their belts. Levi has shown some incredible mobility in the crease and while he sometimes may find himself out of position due to excessive movement he has shown time and time again to be able to make remarkable desperation saves and he is capable of stealing games for his team.
Yaniv Perets – Goalie, Quinnipiac University (Free Agent)
Another finalist for both Goalie of the Year and the Hobey Baker Award is Yaniv Perets, a sophomore for Quinnipiac University who led the country in both GAA with a 1.17 as well as shutouts with 11 and added a .939% save percentage on top of that. As a freshman Yaniv was excellent for a Quinnipi