The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its Players of the Week for the week ending Sept. 19.
SBK HOCKEY/NAHL North PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Alec Shields - Traverse City North Stars
Traverse City forward Alec Shields registered a pair of goals and two assists as the North Stars finished the Showcase Tournament with a 3-1 mark. After being held scoreless on Wednesday - a 1-0 triumph over the Corpus Christi IceRays - the Moon Township, Pa., native picked up an assist in a 4-0 win over the Austin Bruins. On Friday, the 19-year-old notched a goal as the North Stars fell to the Wenatchee Wild, 5-2. Shields finished the Showcase with a one-goal, one-assist effort in Traverse City’s 5-2 victory over the Alaska Avalanche. He was also a plus-1 for the tournament.
HONORABLE MENTION: Chicago forward Jim Albrecht; Janesville forward Ross Mauermann; Port Huron forward Adam Frank
SBK HOCKEY/NAHL SOUTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Rock Einersen - Texas Tornado
Texas forward Rock Einersen struck for four goals and six assists as the Tornado fashioned a 2-1-1 record at the Showcase Tournament. On Wednesday, the Chicago native tallied a goal and three assists in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Motor City Metal Jackets. The next day, the 20-year-old put away a goal and an assist as the Tornado downed the Kenai River Brown Bears, 5-3. After picking up an assist in Texas’ 5-2 loss to the Coulee Region Chill on Saturday, Einersen rang up a pair of goals, including the game-winner, and an assist as the Tornado bested the Austin Bruins, 6-4, in the final game of the Showcase. He was also a plus-2 for the tournament.
HONORABLE MENTION: Amarillo forward Joe Kozlak; Topeka forward Michael Hill; Wichita Falls forward Dakota Klecha
SBK HOCKEY/NAHL CENTRAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Nardo Nagtzaam - Alexandria Blizzard
Alexandria forward Nardo Nagtzaam connected for five goals and six assists at the Showcase Tournament as the Blizzard skated to a 2-1-1 record. On Wednesday, the Netherlands native tallied two goals and an assist in a 6-4 loss to the Topeka RoadRunners. After being held scoreless the next day - a 2-1 shootout loss to the Dawson Creek Rage - the 20-year-old recorded a natural hat trick, including the game-winning marker, and three assists as the Blizzard blitzed the Chicago Hitmen, 8-2. Nagtzaam picked up two more assists in Alexandria’s 4-2 victory over the New Mexico Mustangs on the final day of the Showcase. He was also a plus-5 for the tournament.
“Nardo had a great Showcase for us,” said Blizzard assistant coach Jeff Crouse. “He put on some muscle over the offseason and really dedicated himself to getting better and it’s paying off. His offensive skills are the best I’ve seen in awhile; he has the capabilities to put up points in bunches.”
SBK HOCKEY/NAHL WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Zach Frye - Wenatchee Wild
Wenatchee defenseman Zach Frye put home two goals and four assists at the Showcase Tournament as the Wild skated to a 3-1 record. On Wednesday, the Spokane, Wash., native recorded a goal and two assists in a 5-3 win over the Owatonna Express. After being held scoreless the next day, the 16-year-old picked up two more assists, including one on Zachary Wallace’s game-winning marker, as the Wild downed the Traverse City North Stars on Friday, 5-2. Frye wrapped up the Showcase with another goal in the Wild’s 5-3 victory over the Port Huron Fighting Falcons. He was also a plus-1 for the tournament.
“Although Zach is only 16 years old, he plays with a lot of poise and aggression,” said Wild head coach Paul Baxter. “He has tremendous upside.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Kenai River forward Brett Lubanski
SBK HOCKEY/NAHL GOALIE OF THE WEEK
Gordon Ceasar - Motor City Metal Jackets
Motor City goaltender Gordon Ceasar backstopped the Metal Jackets to a pair of wins at the Showcase Tournament, turning aside 54 of 55 shots. On Friday, the Oak Park, Calif., native made all 25 saves as Motor City blanked the Dawson Creek Rage, 2-0. The next day, the 19-year-old graduate of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) stopped 29 shots in a 3-1 triumph over the Bismarck Bobcats.
HONORABLE MENTION: Amarillo’s Nikifor Szczerba; Janesville’s David Jacobson; Port Huron’s Salvatore Tecci; Texas’ Jake Stafford; Topeka’s Rasmus Tirronen; Traverse City’s Tyler Marble; Wichita Falls’ Eric Garavaglia