Scott Perunovich, a St. Louis Blues defenseman prospect, won the Hobey Baker Award on Saturday.

Scott Perunovich, a St. Louis Blues defenseman prospect, won the Hobey Baker Award on Saturday.The junior from the University of Minnesota Duluth was voted the top men’s player in NCAA ice hockey this season over finalists Jeremy Swayman, a Boston Bruins goalie prospect from the University of Maine; and Jordan Kawaguchi, a forward from the University of North Dakota.
“It’s very exciting,” Perunovich told The Athletic when he was named a top 10 finalist March 18. “There’s a good group of guys up for it, so it can go to anyone. It’s just exciting to be ranked with those guys and past winners.”
Perunovich, a 21-year-old junior who was selected by the Blues in the second round (No. 45) of the 2018 NHL Draft, agreed to a two-year, entry-level NHL contract on March 27.
He was second among NCAA defensemen with 40 points (six goals, 34 assists) in 34 games, three behind Nashville Predators prospect David Farrance of Boston University. Perunovich’s 34 assists were second among NCAA players, eight behind Vegas Golden Knights forward prospect Jack Dugan (Providence), and his 22 power-play points (three goals, 19 assists) were tied with Dugan for the NCAA lead. Perunovich was the first defenseman to lead the National Collegiate Hockey Conference in scoring (32 points; four goals, 28 assists).
Perunovich helped Minnesota Duluth win the NCAA Division I championship in 2018 and 2019, and is the sixth Minnesota Duluth player to win the award, the first since forward Jack Connolly in 2012.
“Obviously it’s super exciting just to get everything out of the way and focus on being a Blue and doing as much as I can to help the team,” Perunovich said.
Swayman, a 21-year-old junior who was selected by the Bruins in the fourth round (No. 111) of the 2017 NHL Draft, signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Bruins on March 18.
He was 18-11-5 with a 2.07 goals-against average, .939 save percentage and three shutouts in 34 games, playing all but seven minutes for Maine this season. Swayman also won the Mike Richter Award voted as the best NCAA goalie this season, the Walter Brown Award voted as the top United States-born NCAA player in New England, and was named Hockey East Player of the Year.
Kawaguchi, a 22-year-old junior, was second in the NCAA with 45 points (15 goals, 30 assists) in 33 games, seven behind Dugan. He was named NCHC forward of the year and was a finalist for player of the year. The undrafted player announced March 31 he will return to North Dakota for his senior season.