The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending November 5, 2017. The Bauer Hockey Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2017-18 regular season that honors the top performing players in each of the four NAHL divisions. Only players that are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the Divisional Players of the Week award.
Central Division Star of the Week: Nathan Burke, forward, Aberdeen Wings
Aberdeen Wings forward Nathan Burke, 18, helped his club to a weekend road sweep of their series in Minot against the Minotauros. The 6’1/175 lbs. native of Scottsdale, Arizona, was a big contributor as he recorded five points (3 goals, 2 assists) and was +4 in the weekend sweep. On Friday, Burke had the game-winning goal in the 3rd period in a close 2-1 win, and on Saturday he had his best career game in a Wings uniform as he exploded for two goals and two assists in a 7-1 win. Burke currently leads the Wings in scoring this season with 16 points in 16 games. “Nathan has been an exceptional first-year player to date. He comes to work every day and plays with a very high hockey IQ. Nathan played at a very high level over the weekend, proving that hard work throughout the week can pay off,” said Wings head coach Scott Langer.
2nd Star: Alex Schilling, G, Austin Bruins
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Luke Dow, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Jaden Shields, D, Austin Bruins – Gabe Vinal, G, Aberdeen Wings – Garrett Worth, F, Minnesota Wilderness
East Division Star of the Week: Jack Olmstead, forward, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
Thanks to a 7-0-2 run in their last nine games, which included a three-game weekend sweep of the 1st place Northeast Generals, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights are the NAHL’s hottest team. One of the many standouts this past weekend was 19-year-old forward Jack Olmstead. The 5’10/170 lbs. native of Troy, Michigan, had five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and was +2 in the three wins. Olmstead recorded a goal in Friday’s 5-3 win. On Saturday, he netted the game-winning goal and had an assist in a 3-2 win. On Sunday, he picked up a pair of assists in a 4-1 win to complete the sweep. Olmstead’s 21 points currently leads the Knights in scoring. “Jack had a big weekend for us and we find ourselves saying that a lot this season. He comes up with big plays in crucial situations, which is a product of his talent and his work ethic. No moment is too big for Jack, and he’s been a big part of our success so far. The Knights are happy he’s being recognized for his success this past weekend,” said Knights head coach Tom Kowal.
2nd Star: Aaron Maguyon, F, Philadelphia Rebels
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Diarmad Dimurro, D, Philadelphia Rebels - Mike Egan, F, Northeast Generals – Luke Perunovich, D, Northeast Generals – Reed Robinson, F, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights – Samuel Solensky, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Connor Szmul, forward, Coulee Region Chill
The Coulee Region Chill got back on track this past weekend with an important home sweep of the 1st place team from the Central Division, the Brookings Blizzard. 18-year-old rookie forward Connor Szmul (5’8/150) had the best weekend of his early NAHL career as the native of Castle Rock, Colorado recorded four points (3 goals, 1 assist) and was a +3 in the two wins. On Friday, Szmul had an assist in a 5-4 shootout win. On Saturday, he had his first career NAHL hat-trick and scored three of the Chill’s four goals in a 4-2 win. For the season, Szmul has six points in 13 games played. “We are very excited for Connor. He shows up everyday with a great attitude and desire to get better. It is great to see him get rewarded for his hard work,” said Chill head coach Ryan Egan.
2nd Star: Isaiah Saville, G, Minnesota Magicians
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Josh Benson, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Gavin Enright, G, Kenai River Brown Bears – Daniel Haider, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Chase Mickelson, D, Springfield Jr. Blues – Jeff Skinner, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Gabe Wahl, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – Emil Zetterquist, G, Coulee Region Chill
South Division Star of the Week: Larry Jungwirth, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays
The Corpus Christi IceRays picked up an important weekend road sweep in Topeka this past weekend, which got them out of last place as they concluded their one-month, 10-game road trip. Veteran forward Larry Jungwirth, 20, was a key contributor as the Bloomington, Minnesota native had four points (3 goals, 1 assist) in the two wins. On Saturday, Jungwirth (5’11/170) had a goal in a 4-1 win, and on Sunday, he had two goals and an assist in a 6-1 win. For the season, Jungwirth leads the IceRays in scoring with 12 points in 16 games played. “We are very happy that Larry worked himself into a position to win this award. As a veteran player in junior hockey, he has taken another step this season in terms of being more vocal and buying into our team structure and identity. Larry’s work ethic and attention to details were very good this weekend and he was rewarded with points to help our team win,” said IceRays head coach Brad Flynn.
2nd Star: C.J. Regula, F, Corpus Christi IceRays
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brett Abdelnour, F, Amarillo Bulls