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Maple Leafs prospect Matthew Knies named to All-American First Team, loses Hobey Baker Award
By Mike Gould10 months ago
Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Matthew Knies missed out on the big NCAA men’s ice hockey individual award on Friday, but he still took home his fair share of hardware.
After being named the Big Ten player of the year last month, Knies was recognized on Friday as a member of the All-American West First Team alongside Minnesota Golden Gophers teammates Logan Cooley and Brock Faber.
Knies, who also earned a spot on the All-Big Ten First Team in March, has 21 goals and 42 points through 39 games as a sophomore with the Gophers this season. The 20-year-old winger will hit the ice once more on Saturday as Minnesota takes on Quinnipiac in the Frozen Four championship final.
The Maple Leafs originally selected Knies in the second round (No. 57 overall) of the 2021 NHL Draft. Michigan freshmen Adam Fantilli and Luke Hughes, as well as Michigan Tech senior goaltender Blake Pietila, joined Knies, Cooley, and Faber on the West First Team.
Knies was also up for the Hobey Baker Award, which is given annually to the top NCAA men’s ice hockey player in the nation. But the Phoenix, Ariz. product ended up losing out on the award to Fantilli, who finished his freshman year at Michigan with an NCAA-leading 30 goals and 65 points in 36 games.
Fantilli, 18, is widely expected to be made the second-overall pick at the upcoming 2023 NHL Draft. Cooley, selected No. 3 overall by the Arizona Coyotes in 2022, was also named one of the three Hobey Baker “Hat Trick” finalists.
But although Fantilli ended up taking home the Hobey, Knies and Cooley are the ones set to play for a national championship on Saturday. Regardless of how Minnesota’s game against Quinnipiac ends up playing out, don’t be surprised if Knies ends up signing an entry-level contract to join the Maple Leafs for their stretch drive.
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