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Players of the Month

February

Forward of the Month

Forward of the Month: Matt Guerra - Lone Star Brahmas

Matt Guerra

It was a memorable month for Lone Star Brahmas forward Matt Guerra. The 20-year-old from Sanford, Florida, led the NAHL in scoring during the month with 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) in nine games played. Four of Guerra’s six goals during the month were game-winning goals. Guerra (5’10/181) was also selected to and played in the 2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the South Division team, where he picked up three assists in two games. In the days following the event, Guerra announce his NCAA Division 1 commitment to Robert Morris University. Currently, Guerra is tied for 2nd in NAHL scoring with 59 points (17 goals, 42 assists) in 49 games played. “Matt has been playing good two-way hockey and it has been turning into offense. He is leading our team by example and has developed into an elite player as the season has progressed. I thought he played great at Top Prospects and look forward to him having a great rest of the season,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.

 

“I thought the month was one of the best of my career and phenomenal. The opportunity given to me by the league to play in the Top Prospects Tournament is one that I will remember forever and ultimately it paid off in a commitment to Robert Morris and I could not be happier,” said Guerra. “The entire experience of Top Prospects was really cool and there were a lot of talented players there who are mostly in the same situation I am. I thought the level of play was really high and I hope it helps me become a better player for my team this season. Dan (Wildfong) has really worked hard with me to focus on becoming a better two-way player and that has paid off into more scoring and more attention to details to help my team win and succeed.”

 

Runner-Up: Matt Allen, Amarillo Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cannon Green, Maine Nordiques – Quinn Green, Topeka Pilots – Cooper Haar, Aberdeen Wings – Oliver Kjaer, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Chris Konin, Minnesota Magicians – Hugh Larkin, Austin Bruins – Parker Lindauer, Janesville Jets – Gerard Marretta, Northeast Generals – Anthony Mastromonica, WBS Knights – Aaron Myers, Minnesota Wilderness – Michael Outzen, New Jersey Titans – Logan Ritchie, Kenai River Brown Bears – Adam Stacho, Bismarck Bobcats – Bennett Stockdale, Johnstown Tomahawks

 

Defenseman of the Month

Defenseman of the Month: Josef Mysak - Austin Bruins

Josef Mysak

Austin Bruins defenseman Josef Mysak, 20, had a big month of February, recording 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in nine games played to go along with a +2 rating. The Niagara University recruit and 6’3/205 lbs. native of Litvinov, Czech Republic, continued his resurgent and solid play this season, helping the Bruins move into 3rd place in the Central Division. So far during the 2019-20 season, Mysak is tied for 5th among NAHL defensemen in scoring with 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) in 49 games played. “Josef has improved more and more each year and he has been a leader for us all season long. He had a really good month offensively and we need him to continue to play well down the stretch. Niagara is getting a high-end defenseman and an outstanding person,” said Bruins head coach Steve Howard.

 

“I think one of the major improvements in February that helped me out specifically was the improvement of our special teams, particularly the power play. I have to credit my teammates because I think when you go up and down the line-up, all of them really stepped up and set me up with some great opportunities to be successful,” said Mysak. “I have a lot of confidence in my game right now and am not afraid to join the rush and take come chances offensively because I know we have guys that will back me up and cover me. I think we are capable of beating anyone in the league, so if we continue to play well and play with confidence we should have success in the playoffs.”

 

Runner-Up: Mick Heneghan, Northeast Generals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Malik Alishlalov, Johnstown Tomahawks – Ole Andersen, New Jersey Titans – Noah Carlin, Amarillo Bulls – Nate Clark, Bismarck Bobcats – Antonio Dipaolo, Aberdeen Wings – Timothy Erkkila, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Jordon Halverson, Janesville Jets – Kimball Johnson, Minnesota Wilderness – Brett Oberle, Minnesota Magicians – Max Osborne, Kenai River Brown Bears – Luc Salem, Topeka Pilots – Casper Soderling, Maine Nordiques – Jordan Strand, WBS Knights

 

Goalie of the Month

Goalie of the Month: Andrew Miller - Bismarck Bobcats

Andrew Miller

For the second time this season, Bismarck Bobcats goaltender Andrew Miller, 20, has been named as the NAHL’s Goalie of the Month. The 5’11/183 lbs. native of Boulder, Colorado, posted a 5-0-1 record during the month, which included making 137 saves on 148 total shots during the month, which was good for a 1.74 goals against average and a .926 save percentage. Miller, who is an NAPHL grad and also committed to play NCAA Division 1 hockey for Minnesota State, had one shutout during the month and currently has a 19-7-4 record this season for the 2nd place Bobcats. Miller is another great example of a NAPHL to NAHL ladder of development success story as prior to this season he played four years in the NAPHL for the Rocky Mountain RoudRiders, which included appearances in the 2018 NAPHL 18U All-Star Game and 2018 NAHL 18U Top Prospects Tournament. “Andrew really stepped up during one of the toughest road swings we've had all year. He gives this team a chance to win every night we he is between the pipes,” said Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie.

 

“I have really worked hard with some coaches back home and now this year with Layne on more of the mental side of the game to become more consistent. As a goalie, it is a battle mentally because if you have a bad game and you put yourself down you’re the only one that’s getting in your way. So I still criticize myself but I don’t put myself down which allows me to rebound into the next game,” said Miller. “I think the leadership in a locker room is one of the best things that a team can have and we most definitely have amazing captains, as well as, other guys that are willing to follow and lead even if they don’t wear a letter. That being said, I think we have a lot of character in the room if we’re able to bring it all together and work as a unit, we have a great shot of being Robertson Cup Champions.”

 

Runner-Up: Dysen Skinner, Minnesota Magicians

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Danny Fraga, G, Kenai River Brown Bears – Max Gutjahr, Amarillo Bulls – Isak Johansson, Minnesota Wilderness – Josh Langford, Topeka Pilots – Brett Miller, Austin Bruins – Grant Riley, Janesville Jets – Mattias Sholl, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Zach Stejskal, WBS Knights – Avery Sturtz, Maine Nordiques – Alex Tracy, Johnstown Tomahawks – Henry Welsch, Aberdeen Wings

 
January

Forward of the Month

Forward of the Month: Dante Sheriff - Austin Bruins

Dante Sheriff

Austin Bruins forward Dante Sheriff, 20, had a dominant month in January and made some history in the process. The 5’11/175 lbs. native of Woodbridge, Ontario, and Mercyhurst recruit led the NAHL with 23 points in 10 games played during the month of January, which included seven goals and 16 assists. In the process, Sheriff became the Bruins all-time leading scorer and now currently leads the NAHL in scoring with 54 points. Sheriff recorded at least a point in nine of the 10 games during the month and had eight multi-point games. He was the Central Division Star of the Week in back-to-back weeks during the month. “I thought Dante had a great month. He has an elite skill set that creates offense. His ability to make plays and use his speed has really been a big part of his success. Dante is in his final junior season and he has continually taken steps forward over his three seasons with the Bruins. He is now the Bruins all time leading scorer. We need him to keep playing well and be a leader down the stretch,” said Bruins head coach Steve Howard.

“I think everyone stepped up in January, but I really credit my linemates. I think any of could have gotten those points, but their hard work really contributed to me being able to produce like that,” said Sheriff. “Right now, my focus is on trying to be a good leader and help bring a Championship and Robertson Cup to Austin. After that I want to have a successful NCAA career and I want to one day play in the NHL.”

Runner-Up: Mack Byers, Aberdeen Wings

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tyrone Bronte, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights – Robert Christy, Minnesota Magicians – Alex Dominique, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Christian Gorscak, Johnstown Tomahawks – Quinn Green, Topeka Pilots – Oliver Kjaer, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Kyler Kleven, Minot Minotauros – Isaac Novak, Janesville Jets – Eric Olson, Jamestown Rebels – Kevin Pitts, Maine Nordiques – Logan Ritchie, Kenai River Brown Bears – Bram Scheerer, Minnesota Wilderness – Adam Stacho, Bismarck Bobcats – Brayden Stannard, Maryland Black Bears – Jordan Venegoni, Amarillo Bulls – Caden Villegas, Springfield Jr. Blues – Jonathan Young, Northeast Generals

 

Defenseman of the Month

Defenseman of the Month: Lucas Erickson - Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Lucas Erickson

Second-year Ice Dogs defenseman Lucas Erickson, 20, return to the line-up in the month of January and didn’t miss a beat for the 1st place Ice Dogs. The 6’2/200 lbs. native of Woodbury, Minnesota, recorded 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) in eight games during the month of January, which also included a +12 rating. Erickson, who is committed to play NCAA Division 1 hockey for St. Lawrence University, had five multi-point games during the month and was named the Midwest Division Star of the Week back on January 27th. “Lucas was continued to get better throughout the month of January. It was evident that his confidence continued to grow with each game. He really provided his team with an offensive punch from the back-end,” said Ice Dogs head coach Trevor Stewart.

“I think the team has really been dialed in for a couple of months now, so the mindset coming back from my injury was to continue that momentum. I didn’t rush myself back from injury because the guys were really playing well while I was gone, so it would good that I didn’t feel pressure and I could just get healthy and play at 100%,” said Erickson. “I think there definitely is a feeling of unfinished business stemming from last year and the veteran players here like myself are focused on bringing the Robertson Cup back to Fairbanks. After that, I just want to make the most of playing in the NCAA and see my full potential out.”

Runner-Up: Hampus Rydqvist, Maryland Black Bears

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): JJ Boucher, Kenai River Brown Bears – Pierson Brandon, Aberdeen Wings – Blake Dangos, Janesville Jets – Cam Gaudette, Northeast Generals – Blake Holmes, Minnesota Wilderness – Brandon Holt, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Renars Karkls, Jamestown Rebels – Josef Mysak, Austin Bruins – Jack Olsen, Bismarck Bobcats – Luc Salem, Topeka Pilots – Billy Simms, Springfield Jr. Blues – Sam Skinner, Minot Minotauros – Casper Soderling, Maine Nordiques – Colin Stein, Minnesota Magicians

 

Goalie of the Month

Goalie of the Month: Cayden Bailey - Lone Star Brahmas

Cayden Bailey

Lone Star Brahmas goaltender Cayden Bailey, 20, had a January to remember. The 5’11/180 lbs. native of Estero, Florida, gave up just a single goal in five appearances during the month. Bailey posted a perfect 5-0 record and stopped 100 of 101 shots during the month, which was good for a .990 save percentage and a 0.18 goals against average. Bailey posted four shutouts during the month. For the season, Bailey currently leads the NAHL with a 1.29 goals against average and a .943 save percentage, and is tied for the shutout lead with eight. “Cayden has really put in the extra work on and off the ice to become a better goaltender and it has paid off. He has continually and consistently come up with the big saves we have needed in games. I think his work with our goalie coach Christian Frey has made a big difference. He has done a great job of tracking pucks and is playing with a lot of confidence right now. I think he would be a great fit for an NCAA Division 1 program,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.

“I think our team is playing with a lot of confidence right now and paying attention to playing at both ends of the ice, so that really helped me out a lot. We have some high expectations this year and we are playing like we are never satisfied,” said Bailey. “I am very motivated right now to try and set the NAHL shutout record. We feel we have the team to contend for and win a Robertson Cup. After that, I am hopeful to play NCAA Division 1 hockey one day.”

Runner-Up: Max Gutjahr, Amarillo Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Ben Garrity, Minot Minotauros – Kaleb Johnson, Minnesota Wilderness -  Josh Langford, Topeka Pilots – Henrik Laursen, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Wes Mankowski, Maine Nordiques – Andrew Miller, Bismarck Bobcats – Brett Miller, Austin Bruins – Grant Riley, Janesville Jets – Austin Ryman, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Dysen Skinner, Minnesota Magicians – Henry Welsch, Aberdeen Wings – Noah West, Jamestown Rebels – Ryan Wilson, Springfield Jr. Blues

 

 
December

Forward of the Month

Forward of the Month: Peter Morgan - Kenai River Brown Bears

Peter Morgan

Brown Bears forward Peter Morgan, 19, has transformed his game since arriving in Kenai River back in late October and has resulted in his best month to date in December. The 5’6/155 lbs. native of Sarasota, Florida, posted 12 points in just seven games during the month, which included eight goals, four assists and a +11 rating. Morga, who is also an NAPHL grad, recorded at least a point in all seven games and had three multi-point games during the month. For the season, Morgan has 30 points in 34 games played and 29 points in 25 games since joining the Brown Bears. “Peter has been extremely consistent for us these last few months. After starting out this season slow, he has really hit his stride throughout the month of December. He has really made the most of his opportunities this year and continues to get better everyday. He is very competitive and holds himself to a high standard of play every night. We are very happy for Peter to win this honor and look for him to continue to pick up steam as we head into the second half of the season,” said Brown Bears head coach Kevin Murdock.

“Since I got to Kenai River, I have been lucky enough to be paired with some great linemates in Porter Schachle and Cody Moline and that has made all the difference in the world and helped me a ton. My confidence really went up when all that happened and I was happy I started scoring some goals in December. We have a great team here and the coaches have been awesome, so we want to keep that going and keep our focus on trying to win the division. I just hope to continue to improve a player and keep my team winning. We would like a good showing at Top Prospects. Hopefully after that, it will end up with an NCAA Division 1 commitment,” said Morgan. “I had a great experience playing in the NAPHL and it really helped me develop and prepare to play in the NAHL. We had some special teams down in Tampa with a great coach in Vinny Prospal, so it was special to be a part of that group that played in the NAPHL.”

Runner-Up: Jakub Breault, Aberdeen Wings

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Leo Bacallao, Springfield Jr. Blues – Daniel Chladek, Bismarck Bobcats – Christian Gorscak, Johnstown Tomahawks – Matthew Iasema, New Jersey Titans – Noah Kane, Maine Nordiques - Lucas Kanta, Minnesota Magicians – Kyler Kleven, Minot Minotauros – Matt Koethe, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Gerard Marretta, Northeast Generals – Austin McCarthy, Topeka Pilots – Nick Michel, Janesville Jets – Eric Olson, Jamestown Rebels – Bram Scheerer, Minnesota Wilderness – Dante Sheriff, Austin Bruins – Jackson Sterrett, Maryland Black Bears – Jordan Venegoni, Amarillo Bulls

 

Defenseman of the Month

Defenseman of the Month: Luc Salem - Topeka Pilots

Luc Salem

Topeka Pilots defenseman Luc Salem, 20, had a big month of December, helping his team to a 6-1-1 record during the month. The 5’10/175 lbs. native of Santa Monica, California, and NAPHL grad, recorded nine points in eight games during the month. That included three goals, six assists and a +6 rating. Salem recorded at least a point in six of the nine games and had four multi-point games. For the season, Salem is fourth in team scoring with 24 points in 36 games played. His 24 points ranks tied for 3rd among all NAHL defensemen in scoring this season. “Luc has been a steady performer for us all season. He was a big reason for our success in December by making big plays in key situations. His mobility and poise under pressure have been exceptional as of late. We are happy to see Luc be recognized for his recent performance. He will continue to be counted on to play big minutes for us down the stretch,” said Pilots head coach Simon Watson.

“I think we did a great job of bouncing back in December after a small slump prior to that. The whole team was clicking and playing together really well. Personally, I think I just capitalize and covert my chances. Sometimes the pucks go in and you can’t get frustrated if they don’t, you just have to keep working hard. I want to keep improving to the point where I can play NCAA Division 1 hockey and then hopefully somewhere professionally after that,” said Salem. “Growing up in California, you were used to playing just teams in your area, but playing in the NAPHL opened up a whole new level of competition and it really opened my eyes to the level of exposure and what types of other teams and programs were out there. It really gave me a glimpse of what juniors and the NAHL was going to be like.”

Runner-Up: Sam Skinner, Minot Minotauros

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brendan Blair, Johnstown Tomahawks – Pierson Brandon, Aberdeen Wings – Tim Erkkila, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Cam Gaudette, Northeast Generals – Ethan Gauer, Bismarck Bobcats – Jordon Halverson, Janesville Jets – Kimball Johnson, Minnesota Wilderness – Logan Kons, Maryland Black Bears – Blake Kryska, Minnesota Magicians – Max Osborne, Springfield Jr. Blues – Cole Ouellette, Maine Nordiques – Lauri Sertti, Amarillo Bulls – Jaden Shields, Austin Bruins – Preston Weeks, Kenai River Brown Bears

 

Goalie of the Month

Goalie of the Month: Henry Welsch - Aberdeen Wings

Henry Welsch

The defending Robertson Cup Champion Aberdeen Wings currently own the second best record in the NAHL and didn’t miss a beat in December thanks to a 7-0-1 record during the month. Backstopping the team for the majority of those games was 19-year-old goaltender Henry Welsch. The 6’2/195 lbs. native of Lakeville, Minnesota, not only put together a 5-0-1 record during the month, but he also committed to play NCAA Division 1 hockey for UMass-Lowell. Welsch stopped 162 of 172 shots during the month, which was good for a 1.71 goals against average and a .941 save percentage in December. Welsch has a 13-2-4 record this season and ranks in the Top 6 in the NAHL in both save percentage and goals against average. “Henry’s solid month has helped us to the top of the Division. He works and battles at a very high rate and loves to compete. Henry has bought into the plan laid out by our goalie coach Josh Aycock and the results are paying off. One of the best attributes of Henry’s is his humbleness. He is a team first player that wears the Wings logo proud,” said Wings head coach Scott Langer.

“I think it was just a matter of time before we settled in and found the right pieces to the puzzle to begin this streak that we are on right now, which continued in December. The team has been playing some incredible defense in front of me, which makes the job easier for any goalie, so it has been an entire team effort,” said Welsch. “Committing to UMass-Lowell was a dream some true and I am so thankful for the opportunity to be able to continue my career in the NCAA. It means a lot to me, because I have put it a lot of work to become a better goaltender and teammate.”

Runner-Up: Charlie Glockner, Amarillo Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Danny Fraga, Kenai River Brown Bears – Ben Garrity, Minot Minotauros – Kaleb Johnson, Minnesota Wilderness – Josh Langford, Topeka Pilots – Brett Miller, Austin Bruins – Patrick Pugliese, New Jersey Titans – Mattias Sholl, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Riley Sims, Janesville Jets – Dysen Skinner, Minnesota Magicians – Andrew Takacs, Maryland Black Bears – Alex Tracy, Johnstown Tomahawks – Ryan Ullan, Bismarck Bobcats – Noah West, Jamestown Rebels – Ryan Wilson, Springfield Jr. Blues

 
November

Forward of the Month

Forward of the Month: Ben Almquist - Austin Bruins

Ben Almquist

Austin Bruins forward Ben Almquist, 20, made the most of his nine games played in the month of November as he helped the Bruins stay in the thick of the playoff race in the Central Division. The 6’0/175 lbs. native of Victoria, Minnesota, recorded 13 points, including a league-high 9 goals during the month. That included four multi-point games and two game-winning goals to go along with a +6 rating. For the season, Almquist leads the Bruins in scoring so far this season with 23 points in 24 games played. “Ben being awarded forward of the month is something that our entire staff and his teammates are very proud of. Ben is a huge team player and he doesn’t look for or expect to win individual awards. He wants to get the Bruins a win every game. Our team had a good month and that helps earn individual success. We expect Ben and the rest of our players to keep playing well down the stretch. In the Central Division, every point in the standings is so important and hard to get,” said Bruins head coach Steve Howard.

“November by far was our best month as a team and I think that reflected in my performance because with team success usually comes individual success, so my teammates definitely played a big part in all that,” said Almquist. “We want to keep pushing hard and playing this way and make the playoffs. After that, anything can happen and we need to stay focused on getting wins. After that, I hope to play NCAA Division 1 hockey somewhere next season.”

Runner-Up: Oliver Kjaer, Fairbanks Ice Dogs

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jay Buchholtz, Minot Minotauros – Daniel Chladek, Bismarck Bobcats – Ryan Coughlin, Corpus Christi IceRays – Nate Horn, Minnesota Wilderness – Noah Kane, Maine Nordiques – Max Kouznetsov, Johnstown Tomahawks – Zach Krajnik, Kenai River Brown Bears – Mitch Machlitt, New Jersey Titans – Liam McCanney, Northeast Generals – Marko Reifenberger, Minnesota Magicians – Valerii Rykov, Jamestown Rebels – Dawson Sciarrino, Shreveport Mudbugs – Jordan Venegoni, Amarillo Bulls – Natan Vertes, Aberdeen Wings

 

Defenseman of the Month

Defenseman of the Month: Jake Beaune - Aberdeen Wings

Jake Beaune

Aberdeen Wings defenseman and captain Jake Beaune, 19, had a good month to help the Wings climb the Central Division standings with an 8-2-0 record during the month. The 6’3/190 lbs. native of Livonia, Michigan, recorded nine points in 10 games during the month, which included five goals from the blue line and a +4 rating. Beaune, who was the captain for Team NAHL during the 2019 Sirius Ice Hockey World Cup this past summer, currently leads all Aberdeen defensemen in scoring this season with 16 points in 23 games played. “Jake’s play in the month of November is a big reason for our team’s climb up a very competitive Central Division. He’s a player that leads on and off the ice and dedicates every ounce of his attention to the Aberdeen Wings,” said Wings head coach Scott Langer.

“We got off to a slow start and I think in November we came together as a team. Everyone is very positive right now and there is a great energy in the lockerroom. I want to just keep being a good leader and get better every day I touch the ice and hopefully a commitment will follow soon,” said Beaune. “I worked really hard this summer and that culminated with the best experience of my life so far in representing Team NAHL in Sochi. That really opened my eyes to the level hockey we played and experiencing playing for your country and league. I think it made me a lot better of a player and person.”

Runner-Up: Hampus Rydqvist, Maryland Black Bears

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Dylan Abbott, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Nikolai Charchenko, Minot Minotauros – Carl Fish, Bismarck Bobcats – Blake Holmes, Minnesota Wilderness – Renars Karkls, Jamestown Rebels – Blake Kryska, Minnesota Magicians – Tyler Love, Corpus Christi IceRays – Sam Miller, Shreveport Mudbugs – Joe Nagle, Northeast Generals – Ethan Prout, Maine Nordiques – Jaden Shields, Austin Bruins – Quinn Warmuth, Johnstown Tomahawks – Preston Weeks, Kenai River Brown Bears

 

Goalie of the Month

Goalie of the Month: Richie Parent - Shreveport Mudbugs

Richie Parent

For the second time this season, a Shreveport Mudbugs goalie has been selected as a goaltender of the month. In November, it was 20-year-old goalie Richie Parent, who only gave up two goals in three wins, all on the road, during the month. The 6’0/172 lbs. native of Pensacola, Florida, posted a 3-0 record, a 0.67 goals against average, and a .975 save percentage in November. That included a 23-save shutout at Odessa on November 2nd, 31 saves in a 4-1 win at Lone Star on November 9th, and 23 saves in a 4-1 win in Corpus Christi on November 23rd. For the season, Parent currenly leads all NAHL goalies with a 1.36 goals against average and .951 save percentage. “The Mudbugs would love to congratulate Richie on being named goalie of the month.  Richie has been one of our most consistent players in practice and games over the past two months so it’s nice to see him reaping the benefits of his consistency.  We are very excited to start moving into to second half of the season as Richie being a big part of our goaltending tandem,” said Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell.

“I think playing on the road is a little easier for me. There are less distractions and has really helped the team bond and develop some good chemistry. I have gotten great support from my teammates and they are doing the little things to make me successful,” said Parent. “I have a great relationship with Maiszon and we push each other to get better every day, be it in practice and in games. He is a great person and friend and we have made one another better. I just want to get better every day and help my team get back to the Robertson Cup. Hopefully after that will come the opportunity to play NCAA and pro hockey.”

Runner-Up: Charlie Glockner, Amarillo Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Guy Blessing, Topeka Pilots – Ben Garrity, Minot Minotauros – Josh Graziano, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Wes Mankowski, Minnesota Magicians – Andrew Miller, Bismarck Bobcats – Brett Miller, Austin Bruins – Landon Pavlisin, Kenai River Brown Bears – Mattias Sholl, Fairbanks Ice Dogs - Joey Stanizzi, Northeast Generals – Henry Welsch, Aberdeen Wings – Noah West, Jamestown Rebels

 
October

Forward of the Month

Forward of the Month: Connor Szmul - Chippewa Steel

Connor Szmul

The month of October was a great one for the Chippewa Steel and forward Connor Szmul. The third-year, 20-year-old veteran forward posted 12 points in just six games during the month as the Steel went undefeated in the month of October. The 5’8/155 lbs. native of Castle Rock, Colorado, had at least a point in all six games and recorded seven goals and five assists during the month. The included five assists in an 8-2 win over the Kenai River Brown Bears on October 4th, and multi-point games in wins over Springfield on October 11th and Janesville on October 26th. For the season, Szmul leads the Steel in scoring with 18 points (10 goals, 8 assists) in 14 games played. “Connor has been very consistent. He plays a lot of minutes for us every night and in all different situations. His success so far this season is a credit to the hard work and dedication he put forth in the off-season. The buy-in that he has showed and the attention to detail in all aspects of the game have taken his game to the next level. He puts in the work daily and has earned everything he's gotten so far,” said Steel head coach Carter Foguth.

“I think it has really helped us to have a veteran group to begin the season and we have had a lot of confidence since the start of the season, which has allowed us to win hockey games,” said Szmul. “I made an emphasis to work really hard in the off-season. Knowing that this is my final year of junior hockey, I pushed myself as hard as I could to get ready for it and am continuing to do so during the season. I want to make the most of this season and try and get better every day. Ultimately, I am just hoping to help my team win a Robertson Cup and hopefully make an NCAA Division 1 commitment.”

Runner-Up: Lincoln Hatten, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Nik Armstrong-Kingkade, Minot Minotauros – Ryan Coughlin, Corpus Christi IceRays – Noah Finstrom, Jamestown Rebels – Cannon Green, Maine Nordiques – Matt Guerra, Lone Star Brahmas – Nate Norn, Minnesota Wilderness – Grant Johnson, Bismarck Bobcats – Jack Johnston, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Max Kouznetsov, Johnstown Tomahawks – Hugh Larkin, Austin Bruins – Joe Mancuso, Northeast Generals – Riley Murphy, Aberdeen Wings – Nick Nardella, Janesville Jets – Marko Reifenberger, Minnesota Magicians – Theo Thrun, Kenai River Brown Bears – Conor Witherspoon, Shreveport Mudbugs

 

Defenseman of the Month

Defenseman of the Month: Sam Brennan - Lone Star Brahmas

Sam Brennan

Lone Star Brahmas defenseman Sam Brennan, 19, is the second Brahmas defenseman in as many months to earn Defenseman of the Month honors after teammate Matt Rickard earned it in September. The 6’0/181 lbs. native of Brighton, Michigan, had eight points in 10 games during the month as the Brahmas continued to be among the South Division leaders. Brennan, who is committed to play NCAA Division 1 hockey at Air Force, had at least a point in six of the 10 outings, which included four goals and four assists to go along with a +2 rating. “Sam has really made some big strides in his offensive game this season, which is now complimenting his already strong defensive ability,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong. “He has worked hard on and off the ice to become a better player and leader and it is paying off for him this season.”

“I have gotten into more of a consistent schedule and really put a focus on having a good routine every day. In a league like the NAHL, you have to come to play every day, be it practice or games. It has given me a lot more confidence on the ice, especially when it comes to handling the puck and trying to create some offense. We have a great veteran group of players and it has allowed me to become a better player and take some more chances, knowing I have guys there to back me up,” said Brennan.

Runner-Up: Michael Heneghan, Northeast Generals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Dylan Abbott, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Nico Appendino, Bismarck Bobcats – Nate Clark, Jamestown Rebels – Ryan Dickinson, Shreveport Mudbugs – Kyle Gudme, Corpus Christi IceRays – Liam Haslam, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights - Grant Hindman, Janesville Jets – Kimball Johnson, Minnesota Wilderness – Robert McCollum, Kenai River Brown Bears – Spencer Oyler, Chippewa Steel - Jed Pietila, Austin Bruins – Jack Powell, Aberdeen Wings – Ethan Prout, Maine Nordiques – Luc Salem, Topeka Pilots – Sam Skinner, Minot Minotauros – Gordon Whalen, Minnesota Magicians

 

Goalie of the Month

Goalie of the Month: Andrew Miller - Bismarck Bobcats

Andrew Miller

Bismarck Bobcats goaltender Andrew Miller, 19, is having an incredible start to his rookie season in the NAHL. The 5’11/183 lbs. native of Boulder, Colorado, and NAPHL grad had an October to remember as he earned the league’s Goaltender of the Month honor. While Miller started in just three games during the month, he was nearly perfect, as he went 3-0 and allowed just one goal on 84 total shots. That included his first NAHL shutout, which was a 24-save effort in a 2-0 win over the St. Cloud Blizzard on October 5th, which was then followed by a 40-save shutout in a 3-0 win over the Austin Bruins on October 19th. In his final game of the month, Miller made 19 saves in a 5-1 win over the Blizzard on October 26th. Miller is currently the NAHL’s #1-ranked goalie statistically as he leads the league with a .99 goals against average and a .958 save percentage. Miller is another great example of a NAPHL to NAHL ladder of development success story as prior to this season he played four years in the NAPHL for the Rocky Mountain RoudRiders, which included appearances in the 2018 NAPHL 18U All-Star Game and 2018 NAHL 18U Top Prospects Tournament. “Andrew has done a tremendous job for us this year. Goaltending was one of our main focuses this year with losing Johnny Roberts. Andrew is technically sound and square to pucks, his ability to track pucks and his eye hand are at the forefront of his game and that is going to make him a big time goaltender at the NCAA level,” said Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie.

“We have a great group of experienced and veteran players here in Bismarck. I think it gave me a lot of confidence from the start to really have everyone in our lockeroom supporting me. Even if I do make a mistake, I know my teammates have my back and I know they are out there doing everything they can to make my job easier like blocking shots and playing at both ends of the ice,” said Miller. “Playing in the NAPHL really prepared me for his moment in the NAHL. You have seen who has come up before me through the NAPHL to the NAHL and onto the NCAA and the list just keeps getting longer and longer. The NAPHL was a great and competitive league because you know you are playing against some of the top teams in the country at every event. You are going to get seen and scouted. I think my focus now is trying to help the team win a Robertson Cup and keep improving to the point where I am good enough to earn an NCAA Division 1 commitment.”

Runner-Up: Cal Sandquist, Corpus Christi IceRays

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Connor Androlewicz, Maine Nordqiues – Trent Burnham, Chippewa Steel – Jakub Dobes, Topeka Pilots – Ben Garrity, Minot Minotauros – Jon Howe, Jamestown Rebels – Kaleb Johnson, Minnesota Wilderness – Richie Parent, Shreveport Mudbugs – Landon Pavlisin, Kenai River Brown Bears – Ludvig Persson, Lone Star Brahmas – Patrick Pugliese, New Jersey Titans – Grant Riley, Janesville Jets – Mattias Sholl, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Joey Stanizzi, Northeast Generals – Zach Stejskal, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights – David Tomeo, Johnstown Tomahawks – Samuel Vyletelka, Minnesota Magicians – Henry Welsch, Aberdeen Wings

 
September

Forward of the Month

Forward of the Month: Wilmer Skoog - Maryland Black Bears

Wilmer Skoog
Leading the way in the month of September for NAHL scoring was Maryland Black Bears forward and Boston University recruit Wilmer Skoog. The 20-year-old native of Stockholm, Sweden, led all NAHL players with 15 points during the month, which included seven goals and eight assists in just eight games played as the Black Bears put together a 4-4-0 record. Skoog (6’2/197) had five multi-point games and was a +8 during the month, and is tied for the league lead with seven goals. “Wilmer has come into this season with a purpose, and if the first few weeks are any indication, our fans are in for a treat. He's a talented individual, but his competitive drive, and work ethic is off the charts. He has been great helping lead us into Year 2, and we look forward to seeing just how much more he can do as the season progresses,” said Maryland head coach Clint Mylymok.
 
“The coaching staff has been incredible this season. I think the Black Bears organization learned a lot during their first season in the NAHL last year and you can see that experience paying off this year, both on and off the ice. There is a great sense of community here and the support from the organization has been great for the players,” said Skoog. “I think if anything, having an NCAA Division 1 commitment motivates me even more and raises the expectations of myself, which is something that I enjoy. I don’t mind playing under pressure or with high expectations because I want to make a big impact.”
 
Runner-Up: Mitch Machlitt, New Jersey Titans

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Matt Allen, Amarillo Bulls – Nik Armstrong-Kingkade, Minot Minotauros – Jakob Breault, Aberdeen Wings – Shane Bull, Corpus Christi IceRays – Tyler Cooper, Northeast Generals – Will Hillman, Bismarck Bobcats – Jack Johnston, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Noah Kane, Maine Nordiques – Killian Kiecker-Olson, Chippewa Steel – Zach Krajnik, Kenai River Brown Bears – Dante Sheriff, Austin Bruins – Bennett Stockdale, Johnstown Tomahawks – CJ Walker, Lone Star Brahmas – Bud Winter, St. Cloud Blizzard – Connor Zilisch, Topeka Pilots

 

Defenseman of the Month

Defenseman of the Month: Matt Rickard - Lone Star Brahmas

Matt Rickard
Lone Star Brahmas defenseman Matt Rickard, 20, got his season off to a great start by posting seven points in the first six games of the season in September as the Brahmas posted a perfect 6-0-0 record. The 6’1/180 lbs. native of Coventry, Rhode Island, posted at least a point in five of the six games played during the month and tied for scoring among NAHL defensemen with seven points (2 goals, 5 assists). That included five points at the NAHL Showcase, which also saw him earn Star of the Week honors. “I think Matt is a defenseman that a lot of NCAA Division 1 schools are taking an interest in because of his skating and offensive ability, which he has showed off since the start of the season. He is a very competitive player and one that plays hard every shift. He plays in all situations, and is also is very well-rounded. We are very happy for his success to date and look forward to the next step in his hockey career,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.
 
“I think it got started with our play during our pre-season tournament and has continued through the entire month. The entire team has been good and I have tried to feed off that. We have putting in countless hours of work and video and I think that has helped us click as a team,” said Rickard. “It has been a long career of grinding and hard work, so I am hoping that pays off soon with an NCAA Division 1 opportunity, but I know I have to keep improving every day.”
 
Runner-Up: Sam Skinner, Minot Minotauros

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Noah Carlin, Amarillo Bulls – Nico DeVita, Aberdeen Wings – Logan Kons, Maryland Black Bears – Robert McCollum, Kenai River Brown Bears – Joseph Nagle, Northeast Generals – Jack Olsen, Bismarck Bobcats – Tod Philibert, Corpus Christi IceRays – Jed Pietila, Austin Bruins – Quinn Warmuth, Johnstown Tomahawks – Trenton Woods, Fairbanks Ice Dogs 

 

Goalie of the Month

Goalie of the Month: Maiszon Balboa - Shreveport Mudbugs

Maiszon Balboa
It was a perfect month of September for Shreveport Mudbugs goalie Maiszon Balboa. The 19-year-old native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, posted a perfect 4-0-0 record during the month, which included a 0.97 goals against average and a .968 save percentage. Balboa (6’3/200), who is committed to play NCAA Division 1 hockey for Air Force and is also an NAPHL grad, posted two shutouts during the month and stopped a total of 121 of 125 total shots, allowing just four goals. “Maiszon has had a great start to the season and we feel it’s due to the work he put in in the offseason. He’s playing like a veteran goalie right now, as he is composed and controlling the pace of games. He’s had to make several big saves in all of his starts this year and we hope that trend continues. His leadership on and off this ice will be a big part of what the Mudbugs do this year,” said Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell.
 
“I have a lot of confidence in this year’s team. I think we have clicked and meshed a lot earlier in the season that last season during my rookie year, so I am very excited to see what we can do. I think being committed to play NCAA Division 1 hockey for Air Force is a huge relief and has allowed me to focus on just getting better as a goalie and as a teammate. It is nice knowing playing for Air Force is in my future and motivates me to get better,” said Maiszon. “My first year of playing legit AAA hockey was spent in the NAPHL and it was a great league to get started in. I didn’t know much about junior hockey, but after playing that season in the NAPHL, you see all the benefits of the exposure to scouts at events and you become educated on how the ladder of development process works.”
 
Runner-Up: Ryan Ullan, Bismarck Bobcats

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Cooper Black, Maryland Black Bears – Grant Boldt, Chippewa Steel – Jakub Dobes, Topeka Pilots – Jeremy Forman, Corpus Christi IceRays – Ben Garrity, Minot Minotauros – Max Gutjahr, Amarillo Bulls – Zach Hansen, Austin Bruins – Landon Pavlisin, Kenai River Brown Bears – Ludvig Persson, Lone Star Brahmas – Austin Ryman, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Jake Sibell, Aberdeen Wings – Zach Stern, Odessa Jackalopes – Noah West, Jamestown Rebels

 
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