Hibbing Native Scott Perunovich Honored at Hobey Baker Award Ceremony
Before Perunovich heads off to the NHL, the former UMD standout was honored at a special golf outing and banquet to celebrate his 2020 Hobey Baker Award win.
LAKE ELMO, Minn. – Thursday was a reason to celebrate for former UMD defenseman Scott Perunovich as he finally received his 2020 Hobey Baker Award trophy.
“It’s definitely exciting that the day is finally here,” Perunovich said.
The former UMD men’s hockey star was the guest of honor at a special golf outing and banquet to honor his 2020 Hobey Baker Award win, a moment he never thought was possible as a kid.
“This is definitely a dream of mine and a lot of credit goes to a lot of people who have gotten me here,” Perunovich said.
“He was always that kind of kid that saw the game in slow motion. But the thing I recognized early on is he just loves to compete. Didn’t matter if it was hockey, tennis or baseball. He just loves the competition, and most importantly, he just has fun doing it,” Scott’s father Jim Perunovich said.
Perunovich found out he won the award during a live presentation on ESPN’s SportsCenter. And even in the midst of a pandemic, the Hobey Baker committee was determined to recognize Perunovich in some way.
“We communicated with him right away and said we will have an event. We will do something. There was never a doubt in our mind that we would host something outdoors and again, we’re thankful that we have the day to do it,” Hobey Baker Committee Board Chair Chuck Ranney said.
“To get the award how he got it initially, it wasn’t how it’s normally done. So to be able to at least have a day like this where you’re around a lot of hockey people, past winners, and kind of really do it the right way I think is really important,” said UMD men’s hockey coach Scott Sandelin.
“I think when the announcement was made, it was just my family and grandmas. And now I got half the town of Hibbing here and all my relatives,” Perunovich said.
And Perunovich winning the sixth Hobey for the UMD men’s hockey program was just icing on the cake for an outstanding college hockey career.
“Scotty had three great years at UMD. You couldn’t have scripted it any better, right? There isn’t a better school and better program to go to than UMD. The players, the coaching staff, the history. If you’re an outstanding hockey player looking for a team, I don’t know why anybody wouldn’t go to UMD,” said Jim Perunovich.
“Obviously this is our sixth one for our school. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of three of them as a head coach. A lot of pride certainly very happy for Scotty,” Sandelin said.
“Picked a perfect school and they’ve done so much for me and I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t go to UMD so just super fortunate,” Perunovich said.
And everyone in attendance agreed, it was great to bring the award back to the state of Minnesota and especially to the Iron Range.
“I’m just bummed out I wasn’t that good. But real special for him and certainly for Hibbing,” said Sandelin.
“It’s definitely huge. We’ve had a lot of success in Minnesota and some winners here so to be able to add to that is super fun and super exciting for everyone involved,” Perunovich said.
Next stop for Perunovich is the NHL, where he’ll get ready to suit up for the St. Louis Blues next season.