Thursday, January 10, 2013

Making the case for Corban Knight for Hobey Baker

Eric Classen / UND Athletics
If you’re a fan of college hockey, you will know that nominations for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award went out this week. You can find the initial list of names on the website.

Like any other college hockey fan, I went to the Hobey Baker site to see the names that were listed in the fan voting. Perusing the names, I found a familiar name of a player that I have had the privilege of covering on a weekly basis, over the last year and a half; Corban Knight, Senior, Forward, North Dakota.
As I said in another article, I believe that Knight is a complete player, both on and off of the ice, and there is no reason why he shouldn’t be one of the Hobey Hat Trick (finalists) when it’s all said and done.
I stand by those comments. I am not the only one that is saying these things either.
Knight is an assistant captain for the University of North Dakota and he is a well-liked and respected on and off the ice, by his teammates and the coaching staff.  To a “T” when you ask his teammates – what they think about think him – they all give the same answers.

Corban Knight scores a goal during a recent game… Peter Bottini, UND Athletics
Recently Carter Rowney had to say about his fellow assistant caption.
“He’s a good guy,” Rowney said.  “He lives in the same building as me and everything. Great team player, everyone gets along with him – easy to get along with. Always positive, no matter what’s going on. He’s never down on himself, never down on anyone else, just a positive guy.”
Fellow senior, UND defenseman and Captain Andrew MacWilliams had this to say about Knight being nominated for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award.
“That’s awesome,” MacWIlliam said.  “I mean he’s [Knight] a hell of a player and he’s a great guy.  I didn’t really know till yesterday, late yesterday. So, that was good to see. I mean, he’s had a great start to the season, I hope that he can keep that up.”
Corban Knight had this to say about him being nominated for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award.
“It’s an honor just to be mentioned in the running for that,” Knight said. “But I mean, I don’t know personally, I don’t think I should be up for that. I think there are a couple of other guys a little more deserving than I am. But, like I said, it’s an honor to be up for it, but it’s a long way off, so I try not to get caught up in it too much.”

Corban Knight scores a goal during a recent game… Peter Bottini, UND Athletics
Knight was asked if the media is media blowing his hot streak and the Hobey nomination out of proportion.
“I have been saying it all along,” Knight said.  “I think that you guys are blowing everything out of proportion.  Like myself. But, I mean, I think the credit goes to our whole team as a whole. I think the last month and half, everybody on our team, all the way through has been playing exceptionally well. Like I said before, I think that I have been on the receiving end of a lot great plays by my line mates and by the rest of the team and I have been making some plays. My line mates have been burying a lot of really nice plays. So, I think it’s over blown, but that’s just my personal opinion.”
If you have been around Corban Knight for any amount of time, you will figure out that he seldom takes any credit for his accomplishments. Knight is the ultimate teammate and he’s very quick to give credit to his teammates for his personal success. UND head coach Dave Hakstol agrees.
“Corban’s a humble person,” Hakstol said.  “That’s one of the great qualities, that’s what makes him a great leader, such a presence in our looker room.”

Corban Knight in action against Holy Cross
Photo by Eric Classen / UND Athletics
Knight also does many good things off the ice as well. Recently, this is what the head coach Dave Hakstol had to say about his senior forward’s off ice activities.
“What you see is what you get,” Hakstol said. “He’s a great young man, always got a positive perspective. He always pays attention to how he treats people around him. He’s very cognizant of that. He’s always being a leader – not just in our locker room but in the community. He does an awful lot of things in the community that go unnoticed. He doesn’t do it with any fanfare – but he’s always willing to help out.”
While Corban Knight is a pretty solid guy off the ice, he’s one of the top players in the NCAA on the ice as well. Currently, Corban Knight is sitting third nationally in points per game as well as over-all points. During his career, UND is 34-2-2 when he scores a goal. Knight has eight multiple point this season and has scored two or more points in five straight games in a row.
Lastly, Corban Knight’s infectious personality rubs off on others and he does everything with a smile on his face. While winning the Hobey Baker Memorial Award would be a nice finish to an illustrious career, he’d probably trade it all in for UND’s eight NCAA title.

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