Two Trail Smoke Eaters alumni are up for the NCAA’s most prestigious award.
University of Michigan freshman Kent Johnson and former Smokies captain Braedon Tuck, a sophomore at Sacred Heart University, have been nominated for the Hobey Baker Award.
Johnson played two seasons with the Smoke Eaters earning BCHL MVP award, first team All Star and Top Scorer in a prolific 2019-2020 season. The Port Moody native scored 101 points in 52 games and was also named Canadian Junior Hockey League Top Forward.
His start in the Big 10 has been impressive. The 18-year-old talent leads his team in scoring with six goals and 18 points and has already been named star of the week in the Big 10 not once but twice. Johnson also earned international exposure by ESPN’s Plays of the Week for a slick move and backhand goal against Notre Dame in December.
Tuck meanwhile is a composed and talented playmaker, and played three seasons, 2016-19, in Trail, the last as captain.
In all Tuck scored 39 goals and 69 assists, while playing in 165 regular season games, and 16 points in 38 playoff games.
Tuck got off to a great freshman season last year, earning Atlantic Hockey’s Rookie of the Year honour. He led all freshman in scoring with 28 points, and was named to Atlantic Hockey’s All-Rookie team.
The Calgary native leads all Sacred Heart players with three goals and eight points in eight games this season.
In total, there are 11 BCHL alums up for the honour in the first batch of nominees.
Last year, former Smoke Eaters Max Newton and Nick Halloran were nominated for the 2020 award. Halloran, a Colorado native, was also nominated in 2018.
Greater Trail products Jake Lucchini (Michigan Tech) was in the running for the 2019 Hobey Baker and twins Connor and Kellen Jones (Quinnipiac) were nominated for the 2014 honour.
The Hobey Baker award is based on strength of character, on and off the ice; contribution to the integrity of the team; outstanding skills in all phases of the game; scholastic achievement and sportsmanship.
There are 50 players nominated this year. Nominations were submitted by the athletic departments of the Division I schools with a maximum of three candidates from any one school.
Smoke Eaters fans can cast their vote for Johnson and Tuck at HobeyBaker.com/vote.