A pair of ex-Merritt Centennials have the chance to win college hockey’s most prestigious individual trophy.

Zach Metsa and Matthew Kopperud, who would have skated together shortly in the BCHL’s 2016-17 season as Cents, have both been nominated for the Hobey Baker Award.

They are on a shortlist of 19 players up for the trophy, which is given annually to NCAA hockey’s top player and is based on strength of character, on-ice performance and academic achievement.

Kopperud, a forward  from Denver, was a staple on the Centennials’ front end from 2016 through to 2019, earning a scholarship to Arizona State University after a breakout final season with the Cents that saw him pot 51 points in 49 games.

Metsa, a defenseman, spent just one season with the Cents, though it was a memorable one – while manning the blue line, he also managed to post 27 points in his 57 games played, before heading off to one of the top-ranked college hockey schools in North America, Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

Cents fans can vote for each alumni to win the award at www.hobeybaker.com.