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Players of the Month

March

Forward of the Month

Forward of the Month: Brandon Puricelli - Springfield Jr. Blues

Brandon Puricelli

The month of March was a huge one for Jr. Blues veteran forward Brandon Puricelli. The 21-year-old native of Ellisville, Missouri, led all NAHL players with 23 points in the month of March, which included 9 goals, 14 assists, and a +9 rating. Puricelli (5’10/185) recorded at least a point in all 10 games played during the month and had seven multi-point games, which included two four-point games. Overall in 2018-19, Puricelli is 4th in NAHL scoring and first in team scoring with 78 points in 57 games played. As a result of his stellar play during the past couple of month, which included racking up two points in two games at the 2019 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, Puricelli announced his commitment to play NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth earlier this week. “Brandon has had a huge month offensively for us. He is very dangerous when the puck is on his stick and has the ability to take over a game. We will need him to continue this pace heading into the playoffs,” said Jr. Blues Head Coach Tyler Rennette.

“Our whole team found a new level of play in March. I think our power play stood out. Everyone was making plays and having fun, so it was a team effort,” said Puricelli. “I think capping off things with the commitment is just a dream come true. I think everything started to come into focus at the Top Prospects Tournament. It was an incredible experience playing with guys that you normally compete against and too see the arena full of scouts was incredible. This was my fourth and last year of juniors, but I trusted the process and path and to have it work out in the end with a Division I opportunity is everything I could have asked for. I hope to go to Minnesota-Duluth and make an impact and help them continue on their winning tradition.”

Runner-Up: Gabriel Seger, Amarillo Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Blake Bennett, Corpus Christi IceRays - Louis Boudon, Northeast Generals – Daniel Chladek, Bismarck Bobcats – Alex Frye, Jamestown Rebels – Matt Hanewall, Janesville Jets – Zach Heintz, Lone Star Brahmas – Dylan Johnson, Minnesota Wilderness – Jackson Jutting, Minnesota Magicians – Zach Krajnik, Kenai River Brown Bears – Luke Mobley, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Stepan Pokorny, Aberdeen Wings

 

Defenseman of the Month

Defenseman of the Month: Brenden Datema - Amarillo Bulls

Brenden Datema

Amarillo Bulls defenseman and Michigan Tech recruit Brenden Datema, 20, had a big month of March leading all NAHL defensemen with 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) to go along with a +9 rating. The 6’5/220 lbs. native of Sterling Heights, Michigan, helped the Bulls clinch the South Division regular season title at the beginning of the month and had five multi-point games during the month of March. For the season, Datema, who played in the 2019 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the NAHL Selects Blue team, leads all NAHL defensemen in scoring with 59 points in 56 games played. “Brenden continues to have a great season for our team. He is one of our best shut down defenders, while creating offense in both 5-on-5 and power play opportunities.  His plus/minus and point production show how important he is to our team, but his ability to defend at an elite level is just as important. He will be an excellent player when he joins Michigan Tech in the fall,” said Bulls Head Coach Rocky Russo.

“We have trusted the process all season long and that’s the reason behind our consistent success. We have all gotten better as players because we have guys on this team who have bought into doing the work it takes on and off the ice to succeed as a team. I think we have a team that is capable of winning the Robertson Cup and that is our main goal,” said Datema. “The past couple months have really clicked for me. I really enjoyed the experience at Top Prospects and feel like I am better because of it. I want to keep getting better each level I go to and eventually would like to play professional hockey after the NCAA.”

Runner-Up: Ryan Rowland, Northeast Generals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): James Crossman, Jamestown Rebels – Sean Driscoll, Janesville Jets – Blake Evennou, Lone Star Brahmas – Anthony Firriolo, Corpus Christi IceRays – Markuss Komuls, Kenai River Brown Bears – Max Osborne, Springfield Jr. Blues – Ben Schultheis, Minnesota Magicians – Willy Stauber, Bismarck Bobcats – Dalton Weigel, Aberdeen Wings – Noah Wilson, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

Goalie of the Month

Goalie of the Month: Mattias Sholl - Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Mattias Sholl

The month of March was literally perfect for Fairbanks Ice Dogs rookie goalie Mattias Sholl. The 18-year-old native of Hermosa Beach, California, posted a perfect 9-0-0 record during the month and helped the Ice Dogs claim the Midwest Division regular season title. Sholl (5’10/160) faced 233 shots in the nine outings and made 222 saves, allowing just 11 goals, which was good for a .953 save percentage. He also posted three shutouts during the month of March, which tied him for the NAHL lead with six. For the 2018-19 season, Sholl currently leads all NAHL goalie in goals against average with a 1.69 mark and ranks 2nd in save percentage this season at .934. “Mattias was lights out during March. His team played with confidence in front of him, because he was playing with confidence. He made easy saves, he made hard saves, he did it all,” said Ice Dogs Head Coach Trevor Stewart.

“Any chance I got to play and start in goal, I wanted to make the most of. I think the biggest challenge is trying to mentally lock in and get in a zone where you are playing with confidence. You just have to believe you will always stop the next shot that comes at you,” said Sholl. “I think having an older brother who played in the league and has gone through the process of playing in the NCAA and then onto pro hockey has really helped. He has given me some great advice about not getting down when I am not playing, to keep working hard and play with confidence. He leads by example and definitely want to move down the path he did of getting an NCAA Division I opportunity coming out of the NAHL.”

Runner-Up: Ryan Keane, Jamestown Rebels

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cole Brady, Janesville Jets – Seth Eisele, Lone Star Brahmas – Gavin Enright, Kenai River Brown Bears – Ryan Fanti, Minnesota Wilderness – David Fessenden, Northeast Generals – Ethan Haider, Minnesota Magicians – John Roberts, Bismarck Bobcats – Matt Vernon, Aberdeen Wings – Jack Williams, Springfield Jr. Blues

 
February

Forward of the Month

Forward of the Month: Logan Jenuwine - Amarillo Bulls

Logan Jenuwine

For the second straight month, Amarillo Bulls and NAHL Top Prospects forward Logan Jenuwine, 20, has been named the Forward of the Month. The 6’2/195 lbs. native of Romeo, Michigan, once again led all NAHL players in scoring in February as he recorded 18 points in eight games, which included nine goals and nine assists. Jenuwine had five multi-point games during the month, which included a five-goal game on February 1st. After playing in the 2019 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the South Division team, Jenuwine made his commitment to play NCAA Division I hockey to Arizona State on February 27th. He currently leads the NAHL in scoring with 85 points in just 48 games played, which includes 47 goals. His 47 goals this season ranks 5th all-time in NAHL history as he sits just eight goals behind the NAHL single-season record of 55 with 11 games to play. “Logan has continued to be a leader for us in all situations. His offensive productivity is a result of his compete level and desire to help our team succeed. He is playing some of his best hockey right now and helping our team prepare for the Robertson Cup Playoffs,” said Bulls head coach Rocky Russo.

“February was pretty memorable. Top Prospects was just an awesome experience and I had a great time. It was a cool experience to play with guys that you battle against all season long and for our division to go 2-0 at the event is something we will remember for a long time. As for the Bulls, we still are focused on trying to win as many games as we can and go into the playoffs playing our best hockey,” said Jenuwine. “I think committing to Arizona State was a dream come true and I think it’s a perfect fit for me. I had a great visit there, they have a beautiful campus, and they are a team that is already an NCAA title contender just a couple years after establishing an NCAA program, so all that made for an easy decision for me.”

Runner-Up: Oliver Benwell, Johnstown Tomahawks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brad Belisle, Aberdeen Wings – Daniel Chladek, Bismarck Bobcats – Tanner Edwards, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Sacha Guillemain, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights – Matt Hanewall, Janesville Jets – Zach Krajnik, Kenai River Brown Bears – Aurel Naus, Northeast Generals – Matt Stanton, Minnesota Magicians – Jonathan Young, Maryland Black Bears

 

Defenseman of the Month

Defenseman of the Month: Carter Dwyer - Johnstown Tomahawks

Carter Dwyer

Johnstown Tomahawks defenseman Carter Dwyer, 21, had a career month during February. The 6’3/190 lbs. native of Exton, Pennsylvania, put up seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) and a +7 rating in eight games during the month. Dwyer, who is in his last season of playing junior hockey in the NAHL, had at least a point in six of the eight games for the 1st place Tomahawks and also had one multi-point game. For the season, Dwyer has nine points in 23 games played. “It was a challenging month for us schedule wise with a lot of games packed into an already short month of February, but we were able to find some success and Carter was a big part of it not only defensively, but also offensively chipping in with timely goals and assisting on others. After missing a big chunk of the first half, he has been a huge part of our team since his return. Carter is a strong two-way defenseman that is a lead by example type guy who gives everything he has every time he steps on the ice. We will rely heavily on his on ice play and off ice leadership heading down the stretch,” said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letiza.

“My confidence has gradually gotten better as this season has gone along and I felt that came to a high point in February. I was injured for a significant portion of the season, so it took some time to get back to where I think I should be,” said Dwyer. “I am hopeful that I can continue to work towards an NCAA Division I commitment and also find a school that has good academics. I think we have a very good team this year and one that has been talking about winning a Robertson Cup since the start of the season. After that, I hope to continue to keep hockey a part of my life for as long as I can and make great connections from the places I go.”

Runner-Up: Brenden Datema, Amarillo Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nico Appendino, Bismarck Bobcats – Sean Driscoll, Janesville Jets – Markuss Komuls, Kenai River Brown Bears – Andrew Kruse, Minnesota Magicians – Tim Makowski, Aberdeen Wings – Jed Pietila, Austin Bruins – Ryan Rowland, Northeast Generals – John Stampohar, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

 

Goalie of the Month

Goalie of the Month: John Roberts - Bismarck Bobcats

John Roberts

February was a big month for the Bismarck Bobcats and goaltender John Roberts. The 20-year-old Northern Michigan University commit posted a 6-1-1 record in eight games during the month, posting a 1.85 goals against average and a .937 save percentage as he stopped 224 of 239 shots in February. The 5’9/175 lbs. native of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, also had two shutouts in February, which included a 29-save win over Austin on February 9th and a 24-save win over Brookings on February 22nd. For the season, Roberts ranked 3rd in the NAHL in wins with 23 and is tied for the league lead in shutouts with five. “John is led by his work ethic and character. Every night he’s in the net, he gives his team a chance to win the game.  That's why he’s a leader on and off the ice for us and will be a very good goaltender at the next level,” said Bismarck head coach Layne Sedevie.

“I think our team really played well defensively and tightened things up in February. We were on the outside looking in of the playoff picture and I think we all made a conscious effort to really start focusing on playing better hockey. I think everyone stepped up during the month because we all want this season to continue well into the playoffs,” said Roberts. “I think getting the NCAA commitment to Northern Michigan has really allowed me to focus just on hockey. I want to help my team and teammates as much as I can and hopefully see many of them realize their NCAA commitment dreams. I think we are capable of making a run in the playoffs, so we just have to keep playing well and see what happens.”

Runner-Up: Mattias Sholl, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cole Brady, Janesville Jets – Gavin Enright, Kenai River Brown Bears – David Fessenden, Northeast Generals – Jason Grande, Amarillo Bulls – Ethan Haider, Minnesota Magicians – Carter McPhail, Johnstown Tomahawks – Zach Stejskal, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights – Matt Vernon, Aberdeen Wings

 
January

Forward of the Month

Forward of the Month: Logan Jenuwine - Amarillo Bulls

Logan Jenuwine

So far it has been a season to remember for Amarillo Bulls forward Logan Jenuwine. The 20-year-old native of Romeo, Michigan, took his game to the next level during the month of January as he led all NAHL players with 20 points (11 goals, 9 assists) in 10 games during the month. Jenuwine (6’2/195) recorded at least a point in eight of the 10 games and had five multi-point games. He currently leads the NAHL in scoring with 68 points in just 40 games played, which includes 40 goals. His 40 goals is the most in a single-season for any NAHL player since the 2011-12 season and he still has 20 more regular season games to add to his total. “Logan has been a big piece to our success this season. He is a leader on and off the ice for us, and a dynamic offensive player. He is a powerful skater that can protect pucks, make plays and contribute in all three zones on the ice.  He will be a tremendous addition to whichever NCAA Division I school he commits to,” said Bulls head coach Rocky Russo.

“I feel like our team has been clicking and getting better all year. I think we ran into some road bumps in January, which in the long run, should make us a stronger team. I think my success is a reflection on my teammates and linemates, because it would not be possible without them,” said Jenuwine. “I am trying to take my time and make sure any NCAA commitment is going to be the right one for me, both academically and athletically. I have been talking to a lot of schools and going to make the most of my visits. After that, our goal is to win the Robertson Cup. We haven’t won anything yet, so there is a lot more to accomplish.”

Runner-Up: Brad Belisle, Aberdeen Wings

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Oliver Benwell, Johnstown Tomahawks – Tim Clifton, Shreveport Mudbugs – Jacob Dirks, Chippewa Steel – Alex Frye, Jamestown Rebels – Jake Fuss, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights – Dylan Johnson, Minnesota Wilderness – John Keranen, Minnesota Magicians – Zach Krajnik, Kenai River Brown Bears – Keenan Lund, Minot Minotauros – Connor Marshall, Northeast Generals – Tommy Middleton, Janesville Jets – Alex Pollock, Bismarck Bobcats – Connor Pooley, Maryland Black Bears – Aaron Swanson, Springfield Jr. Blues

 

Defenseman of the Month

Defenseman of the Month: Jake Willets - Amarillo Bulls

Jake Willets

Like his teammate Logan Jenuwine, the month of January was the personal best for Amarillo Bulls defenseman Jake Willets. The 19-year-old native of Monroe, Michigan, led all NAHL defensemen during the month with 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) along with a +5 rating. Willets (6’2/189) recorded at least a point in seven of the 10 games and had four multi-point games and one game-winning goal. For the season, Willets has recorded 25 points in 39 games played. “Jake’s development this season has been fun to watch. He is a complete defenseman that plays in all situations and impacts our team in a number of ways. His work ethic and the extra time he puts into his game have certainly paid off. It’s no surprise to me that he has been receiving as much attention from NCAA Division I programs that he has. I expect that he will have the opportunity to make a commitment very soon,” said Bulls head coach Rocky Russo.

“I think our team has gotten better each month of the season. We want to playing our best hockey come playoff time. I have personally just tried to listed to Rocky (Russo) and the rest of the coaching staff and buy into what they are teaching me every day,” said Willets. “I feel like our best hockey is ahead of us and we are very capable of winning a Robertson Cup. For me personally, I’m not so concerned about points as I am getting better every day, and hopefully I can do that to the point of committing to an NCAA Division I school.”

Runner-Up: CJ Regula, Shreveport Mudbugs

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): JJ Boucher, Kenai River Brown Bears – Matt Clark, Chippewa Steel – Sean Driscoll, Janesville Jets – Ethan Gauer, Bismarck Bobcats – Mike Higgins, Northeast Generals – Andrew Kruse, Minnesota Magicians – Connor McGinnis, Minot Minotauros – Max Osborne, Springfield Jr. Blues – Nick Petruolo, Jamestown Rebels – Quinn Warmuth, Maryland Black Bears – Alex Wilkins, Johnstown Tomahawks

 

Goalie of the Month

Goalie of the Month: Matt Vernon - Aberdeen Wings

Matt Vernon

For the second consecutive month, it was an undefeated record for the Aberdeen Wings and goaltender Matt Vernon. The 20-year-old native of San Jose, California, posted an 8-0-0 record during the month as he helped the Wings increase their lead atop the Central Division with a perfect record in January. Vernon (5’10/170) allowed just 12 goals in eight games during the month, which included 216 saves on 228 total shots, good for a 1.47 goals against average and a .947 save percentage. He also had two more shutouts in January. The month was also memorable for Vernon as on January 16th, he committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for Colorado College. For the season, leads all NAHL goalies in wins with 28, ranks 4th in save percentage with a .935 mark, and 5th in goals against average at 1.96. “Matt continues to be the backbone of this year’s team. He gives us an opportunity to win every night that he gets the start. Matt is a confident, hardworking individual who leaves everything out on the ice day in and day out. We will be looking for his leadership as we head down the final stretch,” said Aberdeen head coach Scott Langer.

“I was very happy to earn an NCAA commitment while playing in the NAHL. I could not be happier with the commitment and I am very exited for the next step,” said Vernon. “The most important thing to me right now is winning. I also want to be consistent. I think that as long as we keep winning and I remain consistent for my teammates, we will have a great chance for success in the playoffs.”

Runner-Up: Carter McPhail, Johnstown Tomahawks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cole Brady, Janesville Jets – Leo Chuard, Shreveport Mudbugs – Gavin Enright, Kenai River Brown Bears – Justin Evenson, Amarillo Bulls – Ryan Fanti, Minnesota Wilderness – David Fessenden, Northeast Generals – Ben Garrity, Minot Minotauros – Ethan Haider, Minnesota Magicians – Ryan Keane, Jamestown Rebels – John Roberts, Bismarck Bobcats – Igor Samokhvalov, Chippewa Steel – Janis Voris, Springfield Jr. Blues

 
December

Forward of the Month

Forward of the Month: Austin Jouppi - Bismarck Bobcats

Austin Jouppi

It was a big month for Bismarck Bobcats rookie forward Austin Jouppi. The 18-year-old native of Duluth, Minnesota, was among the NAHL scoring leaders in December with 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists) and a +7 rating in eight games during the month. Jouppi (5’8/170) recorded at least a points in all eight games played during December and had three-multi point games. He is currently riding an 11-game point streak dating back to November 23rd where he has recorded 21 points in that time span. Jouppi currently leads the Bobcats in scoring this season with 27 points in 27 games played. “Austin is a 200-foot player with very good skill, and his work ethic and character are at the forefront of his game. His skill set and ability to make plays along with his other tangibles to block shots and play a complete game are the reasons he’s going to be a really good at the next level,” said Bismarck head coach Layne Sedevie.

“I think once I got used to the pace of the game in the NAHL compared to what I was used to playing high school hockey has been the biggest difference in my game lately. I think with that has come confidence as a player and things have progressed from there,” said Jouppi. “I want to be a complete player and have a good plus/minus rating. Beyond that I would really like an opportunity to play NCAA Division I hockey. I think we have a team here in Bismarck that can make the playoffs and compete for a Robertson Cup, but we just have to be a little more consistent and try and string some wins together and not be satisfied with just splitting series.”

Runner-Up: Santeri Hartikainen, Corpus Christi IceRays

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Louis Boudon, Northeast Generals - Parker Brown, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Jay Feiwell, Shreveport Mudbugs – Cameron Hebert, Johnstown Tomahawks – Dylan Johnson, Minnesota Wilderness – John Keranen, Minnesota Magicians – Alex Klekotka, Kenai River Brown Bears – Luke Mountain, Maryland Black Bears – Brenden Olson, Janesville Jets – Joe Strada, Aberdeen Wings

 

Defenseman of the Month

Defenseman of the Month: Ondrej Trejbal - Minnesota Wilderness

Ondrej Trejbal

Minnesota Wilderness defenseman Ondrej Trejbal, 19, did himself one better from the month of November to the month of December as he went from Runner-Up for Defenseman of the Month to the winner of the award. The 6’3/190 lbs. native of Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, led all NAHL defenseman with 11 points during the month of December, which included three goals and eight assists to go along with a very nice +9 rating. Trejbal had three multi-point games as the Wilderness kept pace in the Central Division playoff race. Trejbal is currently 2nd among all NAHL defensemen in scoring this season with 28 points in 31 games played. “Ondrej is one of the most talented players to ever play for the Wilderness organization. He has been on quite a roll this past month and we are excited to see how high he can elevate his game moving forward,” said Wilderness Head Coach and GM Dave Boitz.

“I think we have a good team here with the Wilderness. I have really worked hard to improve my speed and skill and I think that has paid off this season. I think I learned a lot last year with the team and in the Top Prospects Tournament, so that I am much more aware of what it takes to be successful in a league like the NAHL. I am hopeful that after graduation, I can play NCAA Division I hockey and help the Wilderness get into the playoffs for a chance to win a Robertson Cup,” said Trejbal.

Runner-Up: Ryan Rowland, Northeast Generals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): JJ Boucher, Kenai River Brown Bears – Sean Driscoll, Janesville Jets – Anthony Firriolo, Corpus Christi IceRays – Andrew Kruse, Minnesota Magicians – Jack Olsen, Bismarck Bobcats – CJ Regula, Shreveport Mudbugs – John Stampohar, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Dalton Weigel, Aberdeen Wings – Alex Wilkins, Johnstown Tomahawks

 

Goalie of the Month

Goalie of the Month: Matt Vernon - Aberdeen Wings

Matt Vernon

It was a perfect month for the Aberdeen Wings and goaltender Matt Vernon. The 20-year-old native of San Jose, California, posted a 6-0-0 record during the month as he helped the Wings increase their lead atop the Central Division with a perfect 8-0 record in December. Vernon (5’10/170) allowed just six goals in six games during the month, which included 173 saves on 179 total shots, good for a 1.00 goals against average and a .966 save percentage. He also had two shutouts in December, a 29-save shutout against the Minnesota Wilderness on December 7th and a 33-save shutout against the Minot Minotauros on December 13th. For the season, leads all NAHL goalies in wins with 19, ranks 3rd in save percentage with a .933 mark, and 8th in goals against average at 2.15. “Matt came into this season a very determined player. His preparation and work ethic are at a very high level. Matt is the ultimate teammate, as well as, true leader on and off the ice. His past month of play is a product of his determination to achieve his long-term hockey goals,” said Aberdeen head coach Scott Langer.

“I think a big part of our team’s success lately has been attention to details in areas like the penalty kill and blocking shots that has really tightened things up defensively and given the goaltenders even more confidence playing for our guys. I think when we can keep scores low and win games, everyone feels good about what is going on,” said Vernon. “I think I’ve learned to make sure I am doing the simple day-to-day things in order to grow and remain successful in this league. Things like eating the right kind of diet, staying hydrated, putting in the work off the ice, having good practices, paying attention to details… all that weighs into the performance in the game and having a good year. We are excited because we have a team that can win the division and compete for a Robertson Cup. I think personally I just want to keep winning games. I wanted to get to 30 wins this season and after the first half of the season, I think 35+ wins may be possible.”

Runner-Up: Ryan Keane, Jamestown Rebels

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Sam Best, Corpus Christi IceRays – Cole Brady, Janesville Jets – Leo Chuard, Shreveport Mudbugs – Gavin Enright, Kenai River Brown Bears – Nate Reid, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Jack Robbel, Minnesota Magicians – John Roberts, Bismarck Bobcats

 
November

Forward of the Month

Forward of the Month: Carson Briere - Johnstown Tomahawks

Carson Briere

For the second straight month, a Johnstown Tomahawks player has earned the NAHL’s Forward of the Month. In November, it was Carson Briere’s turn as the 5’9/175 lbs. native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania tied for the NAHL lead in scoring during the month with 18 points (8 goals, 10 assists) in 10 games played. Briere, 19, helped the Tomhawks to a 10-0 record in the month and registered at least a point in nine of the 10 games and had seven multi-point games. He was named the East Division Star of the Week to begin the month and he currently is 2nd in NAHL scoring with 39 points in 28 games played. “We had a really heavy month in November with 10 games, and we were fortunate to get all 10 wins. One of the biggest reasons was Carson’s play. He was an offensive force for us and his three game-winning goals were extremely key. He has the ability to create plays every time he is on the ice because he is so creative with the puck and he has such a high offensive IQ. His biggest asset may be his ability to be counted on when the games matter most in crunch time. Carson has rightfully drawn a lot of NCAA Division I interest this season and I couldn’t be prouder of him for the month he had in November to help our team win hockey games. We look forward to him continuing to be a big part of our team moving forward this season,” said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia.

“It’s been a great ride so far and we are motivated to keep it going. Everybody is producing on the team and not just offensively. I think everyone has bought in to doing their job in both ends of the ice and that is resulting in wins,” said Briere. “We have a great group and our goal is to win the Robertson Cup. Personally, I want to keep improving and playing good hockey. I am hopeful that results in an NCAA Division I opportunity, but I’m not in a rush right now to make a decision and just want to keep having fun.”

Runner-Up: Alex Frye, Jamestown Rebels

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jacob Badal, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights - Jon Bendorf, Aberdeen Wings – Blake Bennett, Corpus Christi IceRays – Dylan Johnson, Minnesota Wilderness – Austin Jouppi, Bismarck Bobcats – Alex Klekotka, Kenai River Brown Bears – Joel Pavey, Minnesota Magicians – David Raisanen, Minot Minotauros – Gabriel Seger, Amarillo Bulls – Dante Sheriff, Austin Bruins – Johnny Sorenson, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Michal Stinil, Lone Star Brahmas – Jack Vincent, Janesville Jets – Tomas Vochozka, Chippewa Steel

 

Defenseman of the Month

Defenseman of the Month: Dalton Weigel - Aberdeen Wings

Dalton Weigel

November was a big month for Aberdeen Wings defenseman and Air Force Academy recruit Dalton Weigel. The 19-year-old native of Eagan, Minnesota, helped the Wings to a 5-3 record in November, which included 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists) in eight games played to go along with a +7 rating. Weigel (6’0/190) recorded five multi-point games during the month, which included assisting on all four goals in a 4-2 win over Minot on November 23rd. Weigel is currently tied for 3rd in league scoring among all defensemen with 20 points in 18 games played. “Dalton came into this season as a very determined player. He has been a big piece of this team’s leadership committee. Dalton’s a player that contributes in many ways, each and every night. He is a 200-foot player that excels against good competition. His play this month has been exceptional both offensively and defensively. Dalton is a big piece of this year’s defenseman group and a great example of what it takes to be an Aberdeen Wing,” said Wings head coach Scott Langer.

“I think we have some very good depth and can get scoring from everywhere. The Central Division is tight and we know it will be that way all season long, so I really feel like we are playing with a sense of urgency right now and that is leading to some wins,” said Weigel. “I think having that NCAA commitment already has made me more comfortable on the ice and not play as tense. I want to always have a team-first mentality and worry about winning games. I also want to be sure that I am helping my teammates be the best they can be so they have the best opportunity for success. I think we have a group here that can contend for the Robertson Cup. I also want to be sure that I have a good plus/minus rating because that says a lot about how complete of a player I can be.”

Runner-Up: Ondrej Trejbal, Minnesota Wilderness

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brenden Datema, Amarillo Bulls – Stanislav Dosek, Janesville Jets – Lincoln Erne, Minot Minotauros – Blake Evennou, Lone Star Brahmas – Anthony Firriolo, Corpus Christi IceRays – Andrew Kruse, Minnesota Magicians – Jed Pietila, Austin Bruins – John Stampohar, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Willy Stauber, Bismarck Bobcats – Preston Weeks, Kenai River Brown Bears

 

Goalie of the Month

Goalie of the Month: Jack Robbel - Minnesota Magicians

Jack Robbel

Minnesota Magicians goalie Jack Robbel, 19, was lights out in the month of November, helping the Magicians increase their lead in the Midwest Division. The 5’8/175 lbs. native of Bloomington, Minnesota, posted a 4-1-0 record during the month, which included a league-best three shutouts during the month. In total, Robbel faced 170 shots in November and made 164 saves, allowing just six goals, which was good for a 1.21 goals against average and a .965 save percentage. The Lake Superior State recruit made 30 saves in a shutout over Kenai River on November 9th. He then posted another 30-save shutout in a win over Janesville on November 17th. His final shutout of the month came on November 21st, when he made 41 saves in a win against the Minnesota Wilderness. For the season, Robbel has a 7-1-0 record with a 1.61 GAA and a .952 save percentage. “Jack has been a huge asset for us this season so far. His dynamic and competitive style gives his teammates confidence each game he plays,” said Magicians head coach AJ Bucchino.

“Our team is looking at everything from a professional standpoint and it is a credit to the coaching staff who have really instituted the right type of culture for success this season. We work hard in practice everyday and we focus hard on areas of improvement,” said Robbel. “I think having an NCAA commitment does take a weight off your shoulders, but I don’t want to be comfortable and take my foot off the gas. Being a smaller goalie, I think I have to continue to work hard to show that I am improving and that I can be a NCAA Division I-caliber goaltender when I go to school next season. We have a team that can contend for the Robertson Cup and I just want to keep helping us win games.”

Runner-Up: Carter McPhail, Johnstown Tomahawks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Sam Best, Corpus Christi IceRays – Cole Brady, Janesville Jets – Seth Eisele, Lone Star Brahmas – Ryan Fanti, Minnesota Wilderness – Nick Grabko, Minot Minotauros – Jason Grande, Amarillo Bulls – Ryan Keane, Jamestown Rebels – Atticus Kelly, Bismarck Bobcats – Kyle McClellan, Austin Bruins – Mattias Sholl, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Zach Stejskal, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights – Matt Vernon, Aberdeen Wings – Dennis Westergard, Kenai River Brown Bears

 
October

Forward of the Month

Forward of the Month: Samuel Solensky - Johnstown Tomahawks

Samuel Solensky

Veteran Johnstown Tomahawks forward Samuel Solensky, 20, helped the Tomahawks to a 6-2-0 record in October as they maintained their East Division lead. The 5’10/170 lbs. native of Michalovce, Slovakia, led all NAHL players in scoring with 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists) during the month, which included six multi-point games. During the month, Solensky also became the all-time assists leader in Tomahawks history. For the season, Solensky currently leads the NAHL in scoring with 26 points in 16 games played. “Sammy had an outstanding October for us averaging two points per game for the month, but also as a leader demonstrating his tenacious work ethic and willingness to do whatever it takes to win. He seemed to take his game to another level each weekend and was a driving force to our success. I am extremely proud of him for being recognized as the NAHL Forward of the Month and he should be equally as proud because he is very deserving,” said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia.

“The way that last year went for us really was motivation to do something better this year, and a good start was something we were really focused on,” said Solensky. “Now that we have gotten off to a good start, we are focused on keeping that momentum going and that’s something we all did in October. I think everything is clicking for us right now and also for me personally. I am trying to play my best every game and not take any shifts off. I am very motivated because my goal to play NCAA Division I hockey and I think we have the type of team that is capable on making a deep run in the playoffs.”

Runner-Up: Cameron Buhl, Minnesota Magicians

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jon Bendorf, Aberdeen Wings – Blake Bennett, Corpus Christi IceRays – Louis Boudon, Northeast Generals – Logan Jenuwine, Amarillo Bulls – Jack Johnson, Shreveport Mudbugs – Keenan Lund, Minot Minotauros – Tommy Middleton, Janesville Jets – Augustine Moore, Jamestown Rebels – Ryan Naumovski, New Jersey Titans – Brandon Puricelli, Springfield Jr. Blues – Johnny Sorenson, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Michael Spethmann, Kenai River Brown Bears – Adam Stacho, Bismarck Bobcats – Dallas Tulik, Topeka Pilots – Dante Zapata, Austin Bruins

 

Defenseman of the Month

Defenseman of the Month: Sam Malinski - Bismarck Bobcats

Sam Malinski

Despite playing in just six games during the month of October, Bismarck Bobcats defenseman Sam Malinski, 20, made the most of the games by helping his team to a 3-2-1 record during the month. The 5’11/185 lbs. native of Lakeville, Minnesota, led the Bobcats in scoring during the month with eight points (5 goals, 3 assists) in just six games. Malinski recorded at least a point in five of the six outings and had three multi-point games. For the season, Malinski is 2nd in team scoring and 2nd among all NAHL defensemen in scoring with 13 points in 12 games played to date. “Sam has the ability to change games single-handedly. His hockey IQ along with his shot and ability to compete to me make him an elite defenseman and a big reason we are having early success,” said Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie.

“I think after the way last season ended, there was some motivation on my part and that of the returning players to work harder this year to ensure the team was going to have success,” said Malinski. “I have been focused on trying to take care of things in the defensive end first and let that translate into offense on the other end. We have a team that is full of talented players and our goal this year is to make sure we make the playoffs and give ourselves a change to win a Robertson Cup. Beyond that, I just want to keep working hard and improving to the point to where I am able to realize my dream of playing NCAA Division I hockey.”

Runner-Up: Andrew Kruse, Minnesota Magicians

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): JJ Boucher, Kenai River Brown Bears – Brenden Datema, Amarillo Bulls - Stanislav Dosek, Janesville Jets – Cam Gaudette, Northeast Generals – Kyle Gudme, Springfield Jr. Blues – Tim Makowski, Aberdeen Wings – CJ McGee, Shreveport Mudbugs – Jed Pietila, Austin Bruins – John Stampohar, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Nick Strom, Minot Minotauros – Hunter Toale, Johnstown Tomahawks – Quinn Warmuth, Maryland Black Bears

 

Goalie of the Month

Goalie of the Month: Kyle McClellan - Austin Bruins

Kyle McClellan

Austin Bruins goalie and NAPHL grad Kyle McClellan, 19, helped his team to a 6-0-2 record in the month of October and the 6’1/170 lbs. native of Manchester, Missouri, is off to a great start in the NAHL. During the month, McClellan posted a 4-0-1 record, which included an NAHL-leading three shutouts, a 1.18 goals against average and a .956 save percentage. McClellan, who currently leads the NAHL with three shutouts, is 2nd in goals against average (1.71) and 3rd in save percentage (.939), posted shutouts of the Brookings Blizzard (Oct. 6), Minnesota Magicians (Oct. 20), and Chippewa Steel (Oct. 27) during the month. “Kyle has been a big part of our early season success. He has been putting in extra work with goalie coach Nick Lehr and continually gets better each week. The NAPHL’s CarShield AAA Program did a great job of developing Kyle for the jump to the NAHL and we are very happy to have him in Austin,” said Bruins head coach Steve Howard.

“We have good team chemistry and it also helps that we have a team that can score some goals. That gives you a lot of confidence as a goalie because you aren’t afraid of giving up a goal because you know your teammates will have your back. I think we have a team here that can compete for a Robertson Cup and I just want to keep getter better and hopefully end up with an NCAA Division I opportunity,” said McClellan. As for playing and developing in the NAPHL, McClellan said that it provided a great outlet for development. “I think the competition you face in the NAPHL prepares you, along with the events, exposure, and the travel. The more times a scout can see you, the better your chances are for advancement. They see a progression of development and there is plenty of exposure playing in the NAPHL. The pace of play in the NAHL is a lot faster, so it took me a few games to really get used to it, but I think the knowledge of what to expect is invaluable.”

Runner-Up: Gavin Enright, Kenai River Brown Bears

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Maiszon Balboa, Shreveport Mudbugs - Cole Brady, Janesville Jets – Nick Grabko, Minot Minotauros – Jason Grande, Amarillo Bulls – Ethan Haider, Minnesota Magicians – Caleb Hannon, Springfield Jr. Blues – Nate Reid, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – John Roberts, Bismarck Bobcats – Matt Vernon, Aberdeen Wings

 
September

Forward of the Month

Forward of the Month: Jason Brancheau - Amarillo Bulls

Jason Brancheau

It was a big month for Ferris State recruit and Amarillo Bulls forward Jason Brancheau. The 19-year-old from River Rouge, Michigan, led the NAHL in scoring during the month of September with 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) in 7 games played as the Bulls moved to the top of the NAHL and South Division standings with a 6-1-0 record. Brancheau (5’9/177) had four multi-point games and was a +9 during the month. “Jason’s talent was evident from day one last season. His skating and puck skill are elite, which is why he received his NCAA commitment to Ferris State so early. Jason’s compete level and ability to play with high intensity on a consistent basis is what has taken his game to the next level. The way he thinks the game and sees the ice, allows him to make good decisions with the puck and at times slow the game down. He finished the last games of the 2017-18 season playing on a line with Alex Peterson and Brett Abdelnour, allowing them to create some chemistry, which has led to their hot start this season season. Jason has also come back to Amarillo more prepared to be a leader and a mentor for some of our first year players. He takes that responsibility seriously and has done a great job of it to this point,” said Amarillo head coach Rocky Russo.

“We have bought in to what Coach Russo has been preaching from the very start of training camp and that has paid off in a good start for us. I think going through what we did last season really helped us grow and prepare for this season,” said Brancheau. “I want to continue to try and become a better player and work harder and harder each day. It is a goal of mine to be one of the top forwards in the NAHL. I think the sky is the limit for us and we have a team that contend for the Robertson Cup.”

Runner-Up: Rex Moe, Odessa Jackalopes

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Erik Bargholtz, Janesville Jets – Jon Bendorf, Aberdeen Wings – Louis Boudon, Northeast Generals – Zach Krajnik, Kenai River Brown Bears – Taylor Lantz, Minot Minotauros – Kyle Moore, Corpus Christi IceRays – Jax Murray, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Aaron Myers, Minnesota Wilderness – Anton Rubtsov, Shreveport Mudbugs – Dante Sheriff, Austin Bruins – Samuel Solensky, Johnstown Tomahawks – Ryan Taylor, Bismarck Bobcats – Gabe Temple, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights – Cam Thiesing, Chippewa Steel – Dallas Tulik, Topeka Pilots

 

Defenseman of the Month

Defenseman of the Month: Brenden Datema - Amarillo Bulls

Brenden Datema

Like his teammate Jason Brancheau, Amarillo Bulls defenseman Brenden Datema, 19, was a main reason behind the Bulls success in September. The 6’5/220 lbs. native of Sterling Heights, Michigan, led all NAHL defensemen in points during the month with 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists) in 7 games played. His six goals are actually tied for the current NAHL lead. Datema, who is in his second NAHL season, had four multi-point games during the month as well. He has already surpassed last season’s point total of nine. “We are very proud of Brenden for the way he has started the season. He took his summer very seriously, adding muscle and improving his game in a number of ways.  He returned to Amarillo prepared to be a leader and play in all situations and his results are currently reflecting that effort. Brenden is a very good skater with good offensive instincts and an NHL quality shot. He has been a calming presence in our defensive zone and his stick and physical play have helped us to succeed on the penalty kill. We look forward to watching Brenden continue to grow and develop this season and in the future,” said Bulls head coach Rocky Russo.

“I think our returning players have been key to the good start. We have bought into 100% of Coach Russo’s systems and coaching and things have paid off thus far. I worked really hard this summer to become a better player and athlete,” said Datema. “I really want to help us make the Robertson Cup. The South Division is tough, but I know we have a group that can do it. Beyond that, I would really like to play NCAA Division I hockey.”

Runner-Up: Max Finner, Topeka Pilots

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Lincoln Erne, Minot Minotauros – Jordan Gonzalez, Chippewa Steel – Andrew Hicks, Janesville Jets – Michael Higgins, Northeast Generals – Markuss Komuls, Kenai River Brown Bears – Sam Malinski, Bismarck Bobcats - CJ McGee, Shreveport Mudbugs – Jed Pietila, Austin Bruins – John Stampohar, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Hunter Toale, Johnstown Tomahawks

 

Goalie of the Month

Goalie of the Month: Ethan Haider - Minnesota Magicians

Ethan Haider

It was a busy and productive month for Magicians rookie goalie Ethan Haider, 17, who got his NAHL career off to a flying start. The Clarkson University commit and native of Maple Grove, Minnesota, posted a 3-2-0 record in five games in the month of September. While Haider (6’2/205) did lose two games during the month, he never allowed more than three goals in a game, posting a goals against average of 1.60 and a save percentage of .951 in September. Haider also led the NAHL with two shutouts. In total, he stopped 155 of 163 shots that came his way in 300 minutes of playing time. “Ethan has been very strong in the net to start the season. He is playing with a lot of confidence and the team believes in him. We are excited to watch him continue to progress this season,” said Magicians head coach A.J. Bucchino.

“I think the jump from high school to the NAHL is a significant different, so I just tried to adapt the best I could and keep my team in games. The pace of play and speed of the shots was the most noticeable difference. You can’t take a day or a game off in this league, because it’s too good for that,” said Haider. “I want to maintain a high level of confidence. My dream is to play in the NHL and I know the NAHL has a great track record of developing goalies, so I am where I want to be. The next step for me is to continue to improve, help my team win as many games as possible, and try and win a Robertson Cup. We have a tight group with a lot of character and talent.”

Runner-Up: Brett Miller, Austin Bruins

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Sam Best, Corpus Christi IceRays – Cole Brady, Janesville Jets – Leo Chuard, Shreveport Mudbugs – Harrison Feeney, Lone Star Brahmas – Ben Garrity, Minot Minotauros – Emil Gransoe, Topeka Pilots – Carter McPhail, Johnstown Tomahawks – John Roberts, Bismarck Bobcats – Matt Vernon, Aberdeen Wings – Dennis Westergard, Kenai River Brown Bears – Ryan Winter, Amarillo Bulls – Owen Zdunski, Chippewa Steel

 
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