NAHL announces Bauer Hockey Stars of the Week
he North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending February 28, 2021. The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2020-21 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: Brendan Kim, Defenseman, St. Cloud Norsemen
St. Cloud Norsemen defenseman Brendan Kim, 21, was a contributor and productive in all three games last week. The 5’10/170 lbs. native of Burnaby, BC, had five assists and was a +1 in the three games. On Wednesday, he had an assist in a shootout loss in Austin. On Friday, he picked up two assists in a 4-3 overtime win over Bismarck, and then on Saturday, he assisted on both Norsemen goals in a 4-2 loss to Bismarck. For the season, Kim is currently 2nd in team scoring with 13 points (3 goals, 10 assists) in just 16 games played. “Brendan has been a great addition to our team. He does a nice job of adding offense from our back end and he is a legitimate NCAA Division I prospect,” said Norsemen head coach Corey Millen.
2nd Star: Ryan Taylor, F, Bismarck Bobcats
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brett Chorske, F, St. Cloud Norsemen – Jake Goldowski, F, Aberdeen Wings – Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Peter Jacobs, F, Austin Bruins – Payton Matsui, F, Aberdeen Wings – Bobby Metz, D, Minnesota Wilderness – Zach Michaelis, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Travis Shoudy, D, Austin Bruins
East Division Star of the Week: Christian Stoever, Goaltender, New Jersey Titans
The New Jersey Titans picked up two big wins over the weekend over then 1st place Johnstown. In goal for both games was newly acquired 20-year-old goaltender Christian Stoever. The 6’3/165 lbs. native of Northville, MI, gave up just five goals in the two wins and stopped a total of 93 of 98 shots in the process. On Friday, the Bowling Green commit made 41 saves and had an assist in a 4-2 win, and then on Saturday made 52 saves through regulation and overtime and then stopped all three Tomahawks shooters in the shootout in a 4-3 win. For the season, Stoever has a perfect 4-0 record 2.20 goals against average and .947 save percentage. “Christian has been a welcome addition to our organization. He has come in and been a stabilizing force for us. Christian is an extremely mature, goal-driven athlete. He stepped up big time this weekend with timely saves throughout the weekend. He also said stepped up big time in the shootout to secure the win. It was a big four points for our club. We look forward to Christian leading us towards the Robertson Cup Playoffs,” said Titans head coach Craig Doremus.
2nd Star: Isaiah Fox, F, Maine Nordiques
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Hosszu, D, Northeast Generals – Brent Keefer, F, Northeast Generals – Alex Krause, F, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks – Casper Soderling, D, Maine Nordiques – Levi Stauber, F, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks – Stephen Willey, F, New Jersey Titans
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Riley Sims, Goaltender, Janesville Jets
The Janesville Jets and goaltender Riley Sims, 20, moved back into 1st place in the Midwest thanks to a weekend road sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears. The 6’1/175 lbs. native of St. Albert, AB, stopped 69 of a possible 73 shots in the two wins, allowing just two goals in each game. On Saturday, Sims made 33 saves in a 3-2 win. On Sunday, he 36 saves in a 4-2 win. For the season, Sims has a 5-2-1 record with a 2.96 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. “Riley was tremendous for us this weekend. He gave us a chance to win and then some. Saturday, we killed off 9 of 10 Kenai power plays and Riley was a big reason why. He made some huge saves both nights and made all the saves he had to for us. He’s been a leader all year in the locker room and has built a great relationship with our other goaltender Owen Millward. We love the tandem we have as both give our players a lot of confidence every night. We are thrilled Riley is being recognized and working towards his goal of playing NCAA Division I hockey,” said Jets head coach Parker Burgess.
2nd Star: Ty Naaykens, F, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kayden Hargraves, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Carter Hottmann, F, Janesville Jets – Trevor Kukkonen, F, Minnesota Magicians – Spencer Light, F, Minnesota Magicians
South Division Star of the Week: Jere Vaisanen, Forward, Amarillo Bulls
Amarillo Bulls forward and leading scorer Jere Vaisanen, 20, helped his team climb the South Division standings with a weekend home sweep of the New Mexico Ice Wolves. The 6’0/175 lbs. native of Espoo, Finland, had four points (3 goals, 1 assist) and was +4 in the two wins, which included scoring the game-winning goal both nights. On Friday, he had the game-winning goal and an assist in a 6-0 win. On Saturday, he scored both of Amarillo’s goals, including another game-winning goal in a 2-1 win. For the season, Vaisanen leads the Bulls in scoring with 27 points in 31 games played. “Jere has been a difference maker for us. He continues to score big goals while defending in tough situations throughout games. I believe he is only scratching the surface of what he is capable of. He will be an outstanding addition to the NCAA Division 1 program he ultimately decides on,” said Bulls head coach Rocky Russo.
2nd Star: Andrew Takacs, G, Amarillo Bulls
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Fletcher Anderson, F, Odessa Jackalopes – Beni Halasz, G, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Cade Lemmer, F, Wichita Falls Warriors – Drew Vieten, F, Wichita Falls Warriors