Devon Levi, Yaniv Perets are among Top 10 finalists for Hobey Baker Award
On Wednesday, the Top 10 finalists for the 2023 Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top U.S. college hockey player, were announced. Two of the nominees — Devon Levi and Yaniv Perets — were goaltenders who both spent time together with the Lions Lac St-Louis during their youth hockey days. It is the second time both players have been nominated for the Hobey Baker, with their first nominations coming last year.
Levi and Perets are natives of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec, Canada. While Perets is a year older, the two shared goaltending duties during the 2014-15 season in Quebec’s M15 AAA Elite league. Together, they went 27-15-5 with two shutouts, combining to allow 2.40 goals against for the Lions.
They backstopped a Lac St-Louis team that also featured 2018 second-round NHL Draft pick Gabriel Fortier.
Perets, who played in 20 games during that season according to Elite Prospects, won 13 games with a 1.90 goals-against average. Levi won seven games and posted a 2.37 goals-against average in 12 games. The Lions went on to finish second in the region and third overall in the province that season. Levi played four more seasons for Lac St-Louis before playing junior hockey in the CCHL. Perets played one more season of youth hockey before spending the next four seasons between the CCHL, NCDC and BCHL. Both entered the 2020-21 seasons as college freshmen before coming into starting roles for their respective schools last season.
The two have not only been linked for the Hobey Baker, but are also semifinalists for the 2023 Mike Richter Award, awarded to the top goaltender in NCAA Division 1 hockey since 2014. Levi won the award last year, with Perets named as a finalist.
Perets is currently in the middle of his sophomore season with the Quinnipiac Bobcats, who play in the ECAC. He picked up where he left off last season, compiling a stellar 30-3-3 record, with a 1.52 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and nine shutouts. On March 10th, he recorded his 20th career shutout, setting a new ECAC record. Doing so in his 68th career game, it also set a new mark for fastest games to reach 20 shutouts, breaking Ryan Miller’s previous mark of 69 games.
Levi has been just as reliant between the pipes for the Northeastern Huskies in Hockey East. After an injury sidelined him for his freshman year, he burst onto the scene last season and has certainly made up for lost time. This season, Levi has gone 17-12-5, with a 2.24 goals-against average, .933 save percentage and six shutouts. He also backstopped the Huskies to their eighth Beanpot championship earlier this year against Harvard University, coming up with crucial stops in the shootout. Levi was awarded tournament MVP honors as well as the Eberle Trophy, given to the Beanpot’s best overall goaltender.
Northeastern’s season is over after a 2-1 overtime loss to Providence College in the Hockey East playoffs. Perets and the Bobcats are preparing for the next stage of the ECAC playoffs, taking place this weekend in Lake Placid, New York. As one of the top nationally ranked teams in the country for the majority of this year, the Bobcats are likely to qualify for the national tournament, regardless of the outcome at ECAC playoffs.
The pair has remained close friends since their youth hockey days in Quebec and even train together during the offseason.
Here is a full list of the 2023 Hobey Baker Top 10 finalists and their youth hockey ties.
Logan Cooley – University of Minnesota
- Pittsburgh Penguins Elite
Adam Fantilli – University of Michigan
- Toronto Jr. Canadiens
- Toronto Red Wings
Sean Farrell – Harvard University
- Boston Jr. Bruins
Collin Graf – Quinnipiac University
- Boston Jr. Bruins
Lane Hutson – Boston University
- Team Illinois
- North Jersey Avalanche
Matthew Knies – University of Minnesota
- Phoenix Jr. Coyotes
Devon Levi – Northeastern University
- Lions Lac St-Louis
Yaniv Perets – Quinnipiac University
- Lions Lac St-Louis
Blake Pietila – Michigan Tech University
- Little Caesars
Jason Polin – Western Michigan University
- Victory Honda