Gaudette, who just signed his three-year entry-level deal with the Vancouver Canucks and is expected to make his NHL debut Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers, led the NCAA in goals (30), points (60) and points per game (1.58) through 38 matchups in his junior year. The 21-year-old has garnered plenty of excitement from goal-starved Canucks fans, who have been anxiously awaiting his arrival on the NHL stage.
Borgstrom, 20, is another highly-anticipated NHL prospect who’s also expected to play his first NHL game Thursday when the Florida Panthers take on the Ottawa Senators. The Finnish forward, named NCHC Player of the Year, finished his sophomore season with the University of Denver with 23 goals and 29 assists in 40 games before signing his entry-level contract with Florida earlier this week.
Donato already looks like an NHL veteran compared to his fellow finalists, having jumped right into NHL action upon signing with the Boston Bruins on March 18 and marking his debut with a three-point night. Donato, who now has three goals and two assists in five NHL games so far, led Harvard in scoring this past season (26 goals, 17 assists in 29 games) as a junior. The 21-year-old also represented USA Hockey during the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang last month as one of four NCAA kids to make the squad.
The winner of the Hobey Baker Award, given to college hockey’s top all-around player of the year, will be announced April 6.