Alec Butcher of Kenai River Brown Bears named NAHL’s Most Valuable Player and Forward of the Year
FRISCO, TEXAS – The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the remainder of its awards for the 2013-14 season. The selections are based on performance during the 2013-14 regular season, as voted upon by the league’s 24 head coaches.
The 2013-14 season awards include: Most Valuable Player, Forward of the Year, Defenseman of the Year, Brian’s Goaltender of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, General Manager of the Year and Organization of the Year, along with the Franklin Virtual Schools Academic Achievement Award and Community Service Award. Here is a look at the winners:
2013-14 Most Valuable Player and Forward of the Year: Alec Butcher, Kenai River Brown Bears
Butcher, who is headed to Sacred Heart to play NCAA Division I hockey, had a remarkable season for the Brown Bears. The native of Anchorage, Alaska, ended up leading the league in scoring this season with 66 points in 60 games, that included 24 goals and a league-high 42 assists. He also recorded 20 multi-point games during the 2013-14 regular season. Butcher, 20, was named NAHL Forward of the Month for October, as he led the Brown Bears to a perfect record during the month. Butcher (5’11/175) also had six points in Kenai River’s opening round playoff series against Fairbanks. In 101 career NAHL regular season games, Butcher ended up with 96 points during his career. Prior to playing in the NAHL, Butcher spent two years playing in the NAPHL for the Pikes Peak Miners and was an All-NAPHL 1st team selection during the 2011-12 season, in which he tendered with the Brown Bears.
2013-14 Defenseman of the Year: Nate Repensky, Bismarck Bobcats
Bismarck Bobcats defenseman Nate Repensky, 21, who is off to Yale University to play NCAA Division I hockey, led all NAHL defensemen in points this season with 50, which included a league-high 38 assists and also included 12 goals. The native of Duluth, Minnesota also was solid on the defensive end with a +18 rating this season for the Bobcats. Repensky (5’11/175) missed all of the 2014 playoffs with an injury, but showed his value in the 2013 playoffs, when he led the Bobcats all the way to the Robertson Cup Tournament with nine points in 10 playoff games. Repensky was named the NAHL Defenseman of the Month back in September. He was an NAHL All-Rookie Team selection last season as he recorded 27 points in 37 games played. In 96 career NAHL regular season games, Repensky has recorded 77 points and is a +29. Prior to playing in the NAHL, Repensky played high school hockey for Duluth East High School in Minnesota.
2013-14 Brian’s Goaltender of the Year: PJ Bridges, Topeka RoadRunners
Topeka goaltender PJ Bridges, 20, stormed onto the NAHL scene in late October and never looked back as he led the RoadRunners all the way to the Robertson Cup Semi-Finals this season. The native of Waterford, Michigan, had outstanding regular season numbers that put his imprint on the NAHL record books. In 36 regular season appearances this season, Bridges (6’0/185) not only posted a 26-5-3 record, but he also recorded 10 shutouts. The 10 shutouts tied the NAHL record for most shutouts in a single-season. His 1.54 goals against average and his 94% save percentage both ranked 2nd in the NAHL this season and his 26 wins ranked 4th. Bridges was named the NAHL’s Goalie of the Month in January, in which he posted a 6-0-1 record. Bridges was also selected to play on Team South at the 2014 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Troy, Michigan. Prior to coming to the NAHL, Bridges spent time playing in the GOJHL in Canada and also played in the NAPHL.
2013-14 Rookie of the Year: TJ Roo, Aberdeen Wings
Aberdeen Wings forward and Bemidji State University commit TJ Roo was instrumental in the Aberdeen Wings turnaround this season. The Wings finished just a point behind first place Austin for the Central crown and Roo, 20, was a big reason why. The native of Coon Rapids, Minnesota led all NAHL rookies in scoring this season with 54 points (22 goals, 32 assists) in 56 games played. He led the Wings in points, goals and assists this season and five of his 22 goals were of the game-winning variety. Roo’s best stretch of hockey may have come in the final two month of the season as the Wings pushed for the top spot in the Central Division. The Wings won their final 11 games of the regular season and in that stretch, Roo (5’11/175) had 14 points and registered a point in 12 of the 14 wins. Prior to coming to the NAHL, Roo had a standout career playing high school hockey in Minnesota for Totino-Grace High School, where he recorded 231 points in just 100 games of his high school career.
2013-14 Coach of the Year: Trevor Stewart, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Under the direction of head coach Trevor Stewart, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs not only won the NAHL’s Midwest Division during the regular season, but also had the best record in the NAHL during the 2013-14 regular season. Stewart, who is in his third season as head coach with the club, led the Ice Dogs to a team record 45 wins during the regular season. Fairbanks also had 21 wins on the road this season, which also led the NAHL. Under Stewart, the Ice Dogs possessed the best offense in the NAHL as the averaged the most goals per game in the league this season. Stewart was also selected to coach Team Midwest at the 2014 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Troy, Michigan back in February.
2013-14 General Manager of the Year: Rob Proffitt, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Thanks in large part to General Manager Rob Proffitt, the Ice Dogs had another successful season, both on the ice and in the community. On the ice, the Ice Dogs won 45 games during the regular season and had the NAHL Coach of the Year in Trevor Stewart. They also had nine players commit to NCAA schools so far this season. Proffitt has also developed one of the most impressive lists of corporate partners in the NAHL. Perhaps more impressively, he helped his team sellout 24 of possible 28 home games this season, which lead the NAHL. With a seating capacity of 2,242 at the Big Dipper Ice Arena, the Ice Dogs averaged 2,182 fans during the 2013-14season, which put them at an amazing 97.3% capacity. This marks Proffitt’s fourth consecutive year of being honored as NAHL General Manager of the Year.
2013-14 Organization of the Year: Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Armed with the NAHL Coach of the Year, the NAHL General Manager of the Year, nine NCAA commitments and the league’s best record in 2013-14, it is no surprise that the Fairbanks Ice Dogs have been named the 2013-14 NAHL Organization of the Year. The success for the Ice Dogs program continues well beyond the ice, where they were the NAHL’s best during the regular season. It also extends into the community where the tremendous fan and corporate support sets the standard among NAHL clubs. Over 100 corporate partners back the Ice Dogs, who sold out a remarkable 97% of their games this season. The Ice Dogs have also been a model of consistency and sustainability as they are currently tied for the 2nd longest running franchise in the league.
2013-14 Academic Achievement Award: Logan Halladay, Janesville Jets
Janesville rookie goaltender Logan Halladay not only impressed on the ice during his first NAHL season, but off the ice and in the classroom as well. Halladay, 17, is a senior in high school and he recorded a 3.80 GPA this season, along with scoring 29 on his ACT. During this time, he also managed to keep his grades high while averaging 19 hours of community service a month and the rigors of an NAHL schedule. Halladay took his knowledge and academic achievement and was the face of the reading and learning programs with the elementary schools in and around Janesville. On the ice, Halladay was selected to play on the NAHL 18U Selects Team at the 2014 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. The end result for Halladay’s great play on the ice this season, along with his outstanding grades and achievements off the ice, helped him realize a dream as he was rewarded with a scholarship to play NCAA Division I hockey for the University of Minnesota.
2013-14 Community Service Award: Collin Delia, Amarillo Bulls
During this past season, Amarillo Bulls goalie Collin Delia has been working closely with Habitat For Humanity and continuing the Bulls For Habitat tradition. Throughout the year, he has personally organized different events and auctions to help raise money to build a home for those in need within the Amarillo community. He took the lead in organizing with Just Between Friends, a group dedicated to helping underprivileged families afford the items they need for their kids and families. Delia currently has an event with Bahama Bucks set up, where a portion of their sales will be donated to Bulls For Habitat. On top of that, he has also set up an event where the players will be the waiters and a portion of the sales will be donated to Bulls For Habitat. Collin has currently raised $2,400 for Bulls For Habitat and does not plan on stopping there. Aside from raising money for Bulls For Habitat, Collin has also volunteered countless hours to the community. He has been a part of the Bulls vs. Bullying program, a program where players go into schools and talk about the harm that bullying can bring and ways to avoid it. He has also spent time helping at the Make A Wish Car Show, doing appearances at the local Discovery Center, El Alamo Park, Wonderland Park. He also spent a considerable amount of time on the ice with the Amarillo Youth Hockey Program, helping to improve the quality and awareness of hockey in Amarillo.
About the NAHL
The NAHL, the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior league boasting 24 teams from across North America, prides itself on the social maturity and skill development of student-athletes ages 16-20 with aspirations of advancing to collegiate and/or professional hockey. So far during the 2013-14 season, over 130 NAHL players have committed to NCAA schools. NAHL alum Connor Hellebuyck won the first ever Mike Richter Award in 2014, honoring the top goaltender in the NCAA, eight former NAHL players signed NHL contracts in 2014 and five players with NAHL ties were selected in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. For more information, visit www.nahl.com