The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending September 23, 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: Keenan Lund, forward, Minot Minotauros
The Minot Minotauros got off to a good start to their season at the NAHL Showcase posting a 3-1 record. Forward Keenan Lund, 20, led the way for the Minotauros at the event with seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in the four games. The 5’11/183 lbs. native of Sartell, Minnesota, recorded at least a point in all four games and had two multi-point games. His best outing came in a 4-0 win over the Corpus Christi IceRays where he had the game-winning goal and two assists. “Keenan really came into his own the second half and was a key member of our success down the stretch last season. There are big expectations for him this year, and he responded with an exceptional Showcase. His skating is excellent and he can make plays in small areas. He’s a great story for our league working his way up through the NA3HL and I have no doubt he could be an asset to a NCAA Division I program,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray.
2nd Star: Kaleb Johnson, G, Minnesota Wilderness
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Sam Antenucci, F, Brookings Blizzard – Taylor Lantz, F, Minot Minotauros – Aaron Myers, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Alex Pollock, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Dante Sheriff, F, Austin Bruins – Nic Sicoly, F, Aberdeen Wings – Ryan Taylor, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Matt Vernon, G, Aberdeen Wings – Andy Willis, F, Austin Bruins
East Division Star of the Week: Chad Merrell, forward, Johnstown Tomahawks
Johnstown Tomahawks forward Chad Merrell, 20, led his team to a 2-2 record at the NAHL Showcase and recorded at least a point in all four games. The 6’0/170 lbs. native of Boca Raton, Florida, had six points during the event, which included five goals. Merrell had back-to-back two-goal games in a 4-3 win over Fairbanks and a 3-1 win over Springfield. For the season, he has seven points in six games played. “Chad had a great Showcase for us. He produced offense in every game including back-to-back two-goal games. He showed off his speed and scoring touch, which included a short-handed goal on Saturday. It was great to see Chad demonstrate his abilities in front of the incredible amount of scouts that were at the Showcase and I hope that he was able to attract some good interest because he deserved to.He has had a great start to the season so far and we look forward to him continuing to contribute our team even more as the season goes on.said Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia.
2nd Star: Connor Pooley, F, Maryland Black Bears
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Matteo Menotti, F, Maryland Black Bears
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Ethan Haider, goaltender, Minnesota Magicians
Minnesota Magicians rookie goalie Ethan Haider, a Clarkson Univeristy commit, left the NAHL Showcase the league’s shutout leader with two. Haider, who just turned 17-years-old earlier this month, played in three games and posted two shutouts at the NAHL Showcase. The 6’2/205 lbs. native of Maple Grove, Minnesota, had a 34-save shutout in a 3-0 win over Aberdeen and a 32-save shutout in a 2-0 win against Odessa. He also had 22 saves in a loss to 4-0 Topeka. For the week, Haider stopped 88 of a possible 91 shots on goal. “We are very happy with Ethan’s performance this weekend. He gave us a chance to win in all three games he played. His preparation for a young goalie is very impressive and it gives his team mates confidence when he is in the net,” said Magicians head coach AJ Bucchino.
2nd Star: Ben Schmidling, F, Springfield Jr. Blues
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Justin Daly, F, Kenai River Brown Bears – David Schmidling, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Matt Stanton, F, Minnesota Magicians – Dennis Westergard, G, Kenai River Brown Bears
South Division Star of the Week: Alex Peterson, forward, Amarillo Bulls
The Amarillo Bulls were one of two teams to go a perfect 4-0 at the NAHL Showcase and forward Alex Peterson was a big factor behind the Bulls success. The 5’11/183 lbs. native of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, had seven points in the four wins, which included five goals and two assists. Peterson also recorded game-winning goals in two of the contests and had a three-point game in a 9-0 win over Jamestown. His eight points this season is tied for 3rd in league scoring. “Alex has been an offensive force and a leader for us since the beginning of the season. He has worked very hard to put himself in this position and earned the success that he has had to this point. He will be a tremendous addition to the NCAA Division I program that he selects,” said Amarillo head coach Rocky Russo.
2nd Star: Emil Gransoe, G, Topeka Pilots
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brenden Datema, D, Amarillo Bulls – Santeri Hartikainen, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – CJ McGee, D, Shreveport Mudbugs – Jordan Randall, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Brenden Rons, D, Topeka Pilots – Anton Rubtsov, F, Shreveport Mudbugs