Rangers prospect Noah Laba named Conference Player of the Month and Hobey Baker finalist

Noah Laba, Colorado College
Noah Laba in action (Colorado College / credit: Casey B. Gibson)

New York Rangers 2022 fourth round pick Noah Laba was named the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Player of the Month for January. The sophomore finished the month with seven goals and three assists for ten points in eight games. He scored a goal in six of the contests, with Colorado College holding a 6-0-0 record during the games in which he recorded a goal.

Laba was the overtime hero for the Tigers, scoring three game winning goals in extra time. With his two overtime winners against Western Michigan, Laba is now tied with Arizona State University’s Matthew Kopperud for the national lead in game-winning goals.

“I was lucky enough to win the draw back,” Laba said of his winner. “I noticed a forward was playing defense, so I decided to take advantage of that. Happy it went in.”

Laba also posted a .604 faceoff win percentage for January as the Tigers top-line center, which ranked third in the conference. He is currently riding a five game goal and point scoring streak.

Noah Laba a Hobey Baker Finalist

Noah Laba
CC Hockey vs Long Island University, Robson Arena, Oct. 20, 2023 (Colorado College / credit: Casey B. Gibson)

On the season, the New York Rangers prospect has fourteen goals, eight assists, and 22 points in 23 games played. Laba leads Colorado College skaters in both goals and overall points, while his 61 shots on goal are tied for first with teammate Gleb Veremyev. His +9 rating is tied for second best amongst Tigers skaters.

The sophomore is enjoying a breakout season and increased production, having doubled both his goal and point totals from his freshmen campaign. As a freshmen, Laba was named a Distinguished Scholar-Athlete by the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and a member of the All-Academic team. Prior to coming to Colorado College, Laba played for the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League, recording fifteen goals and twenty four assists for thirty nine points in fifty games during his draft year, which was sixth on the team in points and tied for fifth in goals.

The native of Northville, Michigan represented USA Hockey internationally, appearing in one game as a member of the 2023 World Junior Championship team who won the bronze medal in 2023. In addition to being named National Collegiate Hockey Conference Player of the Month for January, Noah Laba and teammate Kaiden Mbereko were nominated for the Hobey Baker Award. The award is given annually to the top National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s ice hockey player, and is named after Hall of Famer Hobey Baker, who played at Princeton University.

Current New York Rangers winger Jimmy Vesey is a prior winner, having been awarded the trophy in 2016 following his senior year at Harvard University when he scored 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points in 33 games played for the Crimson. New York Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury became the first Boston University Terrier to receive the award in 1998, when he recorded 28 goals, 29 assists, 57 points in 38 games played.

Having selected Noah Laba in the fourth round with the 111th overall pick, the New York Rangers hold his signing rights until August 15, 2026. He can return for his junior year if the organization decides he needs more time to develop at the collegiate level before turning professional.

Colorado College climbed to number fourteen in the U.S. College Hockey Online Poll and number sixteen in the USA Hockey/The Rink Live Poll following sweeps over two National Collegiate Hockey Conference opponents, Miami University and Western Michigan. Despite being ranked in the polls, Colorado College still has some work to do in order to qualify for the National College Athletics Association tournament. The Tigers are currently eighteenth in the Men’s Division I Pairwise Rankings. The team has an overall record of 15-8-1 and will look to continue its winning streak this weekend when they host the St. Cloud State Huskies at Ed Robson Arena on Friday, February 2nd and Saturday, February 3rd.