As it turns out, defensemen stick together at the University of Denver. Pioneers alumnus and current Colorado Avalanche blueliner Patrick Wiercioch gave his endorsement for current captain Will Butcher, who is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

Butcher is the only defenseman up for the award, which is given annually to the NCAA’s most outstanding men’s hockey player. This season, he has scored six goals and 35 points in 39 games for the nation’s top-ranked Pioneers.

Wiercioch left the Pioneers to turn pro after the 2009-10 season, in which he scored six goals and 27 points in 39 games. This season, his first with the Colorado Avalanche, he has four goals and 12 points in 56 games.

Coincidentally, Butcher is an Avalanche prospect. The team selected him in the fifth round (123rd overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Click here to vote for the Hobey Baker Award. The public vote will narrow the field to three. The winner will be determined by a panel of 27 people representing print and electronic sports media, college hockey coaches and officials, and NHL scouts.