Hobey Baker Predictions include a UMass Player (Mitchell Chaffee)
Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:35 pm
https://www.ncaa.com/news/icehockey-men ... rd-2019-20
Already some great press for the coming season. It would be awesome for him to be in the conversation throughout the season and maybe as a finalist at the end of the year. But having it preseason is already a good sign there.Mitchell Chaffee – Massachusetts
Massachusetts came within a game of the program's first-ever national championship in 2019, ultimately falling to Minnesota Duluth in the finals. Gone from a year ago are Hobey Baker winner Cale Makar and Jacob Pritchard, the top-two point producers for the Minutemen.
However, Mitchell Chaffee returns after a 42-point season and can expect to be the go-to offensive threat for UMass in 2019-20. Chaffee — a first-line right winger — and Makar were both named ACHA First-Team All-Americans to culminate the team's best season in program history.
The Minutemen won 31 games last year, a program record and a far cry from the 5-29-2 mark in coach Greg Carvel's first season.
Improvements by Chaffee among others aided the program's swift turnaround. The rising junior nearly doubled his point total from 24 to 42 with a dozen multi-point games.
Like Limoges, Chaffee's plus/minus took a staggering turn for the better. He was -5 as a freshman before finishing his sophomore campaign at +23. To elevate his case for the Hobey Baker this season, Chaffee's postseason performances will likely need a boost.
His lone point in the NCAA tournament came in the Minutemen's Frozen Four win over Denver. By comparison, Makar registered a point in three of four postseason games.
Last season, UMass was a bit of a surprise. If the Minutemen replicate their team success with Chaffee leading the charge, it'll be hard not to include the junior's name in the Hobey Baker conversation.