The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending September 16, 2018. The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2018-19 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: No Games
East Division Star of the Week: Samuel Solensky, forward, Johnstown Tomahawks
Veteran Johnstown forward Samuel Solensky, 20, helped his team to a weekend road sweep of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights this weekend to get the season started. On Friday, the 5’10/170 lbs. native of Michalovce, Slovakia, had an assist in a 3-2 win and on Saturday, he had two goals, including the game-winner and an assist in a 5-1 win. “It was a step in the right direction for us to open our season with two wins on the road. Sam was a very big part of our offense. As usual, he was creating a lot of plays and was around the puck all game. He set up our game-winning goal on Friday night with a great play, then on Saturday he was a big force for us with two goals and setting up another. I felt he was dangerous all weekend when he was on the ice. Heading into the Showcase this week it was some positive momentum for him as I feel he is a very strong NCAA Division 1 prospect and hopefully his quality play carries right into the upcoming week,” said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Matt Ladd, G, New Jersey Titans
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kyler Head, F, New Jersey Titans – Cameron Hebert, F, Johnstown Tomahawks
Midwest Division Star of the Week: JJ Boucher, defenseman, Kenai River Brown Bears
The Kenai River Brown Bears got an early season boost as they went into Janesville, Wisconsin this past weekend and picked up a weekend sweep of the Jets. Defenseman JJ Boucher, 19, was a huge factor in the two wins as the 6’2/180 lbs. native of Ottawa, Ontario had four assists and was +4 in the two wins. On Friday, Boucher had an assist in a 5-2 win and on Saturday, he had three assists in a 7-3 win. “This award could have gone to anyone on our team, but JJ had an exceptional weekend. He was instrumental in the wins and was really good defensively in addition to offensive production he put up. He was doing a little bit of everything like blocking shots and making good passes. He is a legit NCAA Division I prospect and we are looking forward to watching him grow as a player,” said Brown Bears head coach Josh Petrich.
2nd Star: Connor Szmul, F, Chippewa Steel
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Luke Ciolli, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Jacob Dirks, F, Chippewa Steel – Michael Spethmann, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – John Stampohar, D, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
South Division Star of the Week: Leo Chuard, goaltender, Shreveport Mudbugs
The Shreveport Mudbugs picked up right where they left off from last season with two wins in their opening weekend series against the Corpus Christi IceRays. The Mdubugs had a new face in goal in Leo Chuard, but the veteran netminder didn’t miss a beat, giving up two goals during the weekend. On Thursday, the 20-year-old native of Geneva, Switzerland, made 35 saves in his NAHL debut in a 4-1 and then on Saturday, Chaurd (6’2/198 lbs.) made 30 saves in another 4-1 win. “Having lost both goalies from a season ago, we were looking for Leo to provide a veteran presence and leadership on the ice and that’s exactly what he did that past weekend. I thought he was composed and played with a lot of poise,” said Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell.
2nd Star: Michal Stinil, F, Lone Star Brahmas
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brett Abdelnour, F, Amarillo Bulls – Jason Brancheau, F, Amarillo Bulls – Jared Christy, F, Odessa Jackalopes - Quinn Green, F, Topeka Pilots – Matt Guerra, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Austin McCarthy, F, Topeka Pilots – Rex Moe, F, Odessa Jackalopes - Kyle Moore, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Anton Rubtsov, F, Shreveport Mudbugs