Cole Caufield wins the Hobey Baker Award

Wisconsin forward Cole Caufield was named the winner of the 2021 Hobey Baker Award on Friday night. Caufield, who is making his professional debut tonight for the Montreal Canadiens AHL affiliate in Laval, Que., beat out North Dakota's Shane Pinto and Minnesota State's Dryden McKay for the honor.

"It means a lot to me and my school back at Wisconsin. I couldn't be more honored and privileged," Caufield said.

The annual event, held as part of the Frozen Four festivities, was held virtually this year due to COVID-19 limiting gatherings.

Caufield finished the season with 30 goals and 22 assists for 52 points in 31 games. Caufield's points-per-game average (1.68) led the nation. Caufield nearly averaged a goal per game — he scored 30 goals in 31 games — and turned it on in the latter stages of the season as he recorded 11 goals in his final six games.

The three finalists were selected by the award's 30-member selection committee. 

Caufield, who was selected in the first round by the Montreal Canadiens, has already signed an entry-level contract with the organization. He is scheduled to make his pro debut Friday night for the Laval Rocket, the organization's AHL affiliate. 

"I'm excited to be a part of it," Caufield said. "It's a great organization. I think I bring offensive-zone creativity. My shot is a big part of my game and adjusting my game is something I've learned at every level."