CHICAGO – Will Butcher is the recipient for the 2017 Hobey Baker Award, becoming the first defenseman to win since 2009 and the first Pioneer to win it since Matt Carle in 2006.

The Hobey Baker is awarded to the most outstanding college hockey player who epitomizes the characteristics of Hobey Baker’s hockey skills, leadership, character, sportsmanship and scholastic achievement

“It would mean a great deal,” Butcher said on what it would mean to win the award earlier today. “I think it would mean more for our program and for our team. If I’m fortunate enough to win the award it’s because of our team this year.”

The prestigious award is usually awarded to the player with the most points or offensive skill, this year they went with the best all-around player and leader. Butcher becomes the sixth defensemen in the 37 years that the Hobey Baker has been awarded out.

“Yes, I think so,” Butcher said when asked if he thinks that defensemen are underappreciated. “When people think about the Hobey Baker, everyone thinks that it’s about who had the most points, that’s not necessarily how it works. Most of the guys on the team don’t care about that, they just care about winning and playing a role. That’s what I think the Hobey Baker tries to capture is the all-around player.”

The 5-foot-10 defenseman was just as good on the offensive end as he was on the defensive end, scoring seven goals and tallying 29 assists, placing him second among defenseman in points. Butcher was also awarded NCHC Player of the Year and an All-American on multiple lists.

From the Hobey Baker official press release:

As team captain in his senior season, Butcher has helped guide his Denver Pioneers to the Frozen Four national championship game as the number one ranked team in the nation. Butcher’s stellar performance as the premiere defenseman in the nation led to a host of post season awards.“

Butcher is a humanitarian off the ice as well, he frequently volunteers Hockey Saves which assists military personnel in playing hockey.

The Hobey Baker Award winner was a 5th round selection by the Colorado Avalanche in 2013 and BSN has reported the Avs plan to extend a contract offer once his season is over.

As a freshman at the University of Colorado-Boulder and a Colorado native, Chase has loved Colorado sports since he was born. He is working towards a degree in the College of Media, Communication, and Information. Chase covers the CU Buffs and DU hockey for BSN Denver. Follow him on twitter for all things Colorado sports @bychasehowell.