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Port Moody's Kent Johnson nominated for U.S. college hockey's top honour

The 19-year-old Columbus Blue Jackets pick is among dozens of names put forward by coaches for the Hobey Baker Award.

Kent Johnson has been nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in men's college hockey.

In continuing his illustrious career south of the border, the Port Moody product is now up for the Hobey Baker Award — given to the best player in NCAA Div. I hockey.

The coveted honour goes to the player who "exhibits strength of character both on and off the ice" and "contributes to the integrity of the team and displays outstanding skills in all phases of the game."

It has been won by many players who have gone on to become NHL stars, including Paul Kariya, Ryan Miller, Johnny Gaudreau, Cale Makar and Cole Caufield.

It's named after Hobey Baker, who played college hockey at Princeton before dying shortly after World War I when he served in the U.S. Army Air Service. He was the first American to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Johnson was chosen for the award by head coaches across NCAA Div. I hockey.

The 19-year-old sophomore has been a standout in the league as he leads the University of Michigan with 28 points in 19 games, including five goals and 23 assists.

After his stellar performance as a freshman with the Wolverines during early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic — 27 points in 26 games — he was taken fifth overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2021 NHL Draft.

As well, Johnson accomplished another personal feat in December in qualifying for Team Canada's world junior hockey team for the 2022 IIHF tournament in Edmonton and Red Deer.

He amassed one goal in two games before the event was ultimately cancelled due to the rising concern of COVID-19.

Before joining the college ranks, he lit up the board in the BC Hockey League (BCHL) with the Trail Smoke Eaters, combining for 147 points in 111 career games.

Johnson will find out in two months if he will be shortlisted for the 2022 Hobey Baker Award.

A fan vote is being conducted by the committee until March 6, then a list of 10 finalists will be revealed.