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Knies, Fantilli, Cooley named Hobey Baker finalists

Matthew Knies University of Minnesota Matthew Knies -

Minnesota forward and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Matthew Knies, Golden Gophers teammate and Arizona Coyotes prospect Logan Cooley and 2023 NHL Entry Draft-eligible Michigan forward Adam Fantilli were announced as the finalists for the 2023 Hobey Baker Memorial Award.

The annual honour is given to collegiate hockey's top player.

A sophomore from Phoenix, the 20-year-old Knies appeared in 38 games this season for the Gophers, scoring 21 goals and adding 20 assists. Knies was the 57th overall selection of the 2021 draft out of the USHL's Tri-City Storm.

Pittsburgh-born Cooley is in his freshman season. He had 20 goals and 37 assists in 37 games for Minnesota this season. Cooley was taken with the third overall pick of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft out of the USHL's United States National Development Team.

Defenceman Jordan Leopold was the last Minnesota player to claim the honour in 2002.

The 18-year-old Fantilli is a freshman from Nobleton, Ont. In 35 games this season for the Wolverines, Fantilli scored 29 goals and added 35 assists. Fantilli is widely expected to be the second player off the board after Regina Pats forward Connor Bedard at this June's draft.

Centre Kevin Porter was Michigan's last winner in 2008.

Other notable former winners include Paul Kariya (Maine, 1993), Ryan Miller (Michigan State, 2001), Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College, 2014) and Jack Eichel (Boston, 2015).

The winner of the Hobey Baker Memorial Award will be announced next month.