NAHL announces Bauer Hockey Stars of the Week
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending March 6, 2022. The Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2021-22 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: Ryan Taylor, Forward, Bismarck Bobcats
Bismarck Bobcats forward Ryan Taylor, 20, helped his team extend their winning streak to seven straight games with a home sweep of the North Iowa Bulls this past weekend. The 6’3/190 lbs. native of St. Louis, MO, had six points in the two wins, which included four goals and two assists. On Friday, Taylor had two goals and an assist in a 6-2 win. On Saturday, he added two more goals and an assist in a 6-3 win. For the season, Taylor has 14 points in nine games played. “Ryan has been a big part of this team's recent success. He is one of the best goal scores in the league and he's proven that since his return to the line-up,” said Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie.
2nd Star: Cade Neilson, F, Aberdeen Wings
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Kyle Gaffney, F, Aberdeen Wings – Brendan Lajoie, F, St. Cloud Norsemen – Jake LaRusso, F, North Iowa Bulls – Lassi Lehti, G, Minot Minotauros – Gramm McCormack, F, St. Cloud Norsemen – Jack Mesic, D, North Iowa Bulls – Carson Riddle, F, Austin Bruins – Ethan Robertson, G, Austin Bruins – Quinn Rudrud, F, Bismarck Bobcats – Trevor Stachowiak, F, Minot Minotauros
East Division Star of the Week: Ryan Gordon, Forward, Northeast Generals
It was a big week for Generals forward Ryan Gordon, 19, who helped his team to four straight wins last week as they moved into the 4th and final playoff spot in the East. The 6’1/180 lbs. native of Stone Mountain, GA, 10 points in the four games, which included 3 goals and 7 assists. On Monday, Gordon had a goal and two assists and a shootout goal in a 7-6 shootout win over Maine. On Wednesday, he had the game-winning goal and two assists in a 3-2 win at Maine. On Saturday, he had two assists in a 2-1 home win over Johnstown. On Sunday, he had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime win over Johnstown. For the season, Gordon is 2nd in team scoring with 42 points in 45 games played to date. “Ryan has been nothing short of fantastic. We are at a crucial part of our season where wins are a premium, and Ryan has risen to the occasion and been a force in all three zones. He had a monster week on the scoresheet, but what doesn’t show there is his play in the defensive zone, huge face-off wins, and how excellent he has been on the penalty-kill. He is a player that hasn’t even reached his ceiling yet and is already one of the most sought-after players for NCAA D1 coaches,” said Generals head coach Bryan Erikson.
2nd Star: Andrew Takacs, G, New Jersey Titans
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Tommy Bannister, F, New Jersey Titans – Ignat Belov, F, Maine Nordiques - Jacob Brockman, F, Maryland Black Bears – Sean Kilcullen, D, Maryland Black Bears – Connor McDonough, G, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks – Evan Orr, D, Northeast Generals – Jacob Pellerin, D, Maine Nordiques
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Will Troutwine, Defenseman, Janesville Jets
Janesville defenseman Will Troutwine, 19, helped his club to three more wins this past week as the Jets extended their winning streak to 10 straight games. The 6’3/215 lbs. native of Eveleth, MN, had five points in the three wins, which included a goal and four assists. On Friday, Troutwine had two assists in the Jets 8-3 home win over the Chippewa Steel. On Saturday, he collected two more assists, including one on the overtime-winning goal, as the Jets picked up a 3-2 overtime win in Chippewa. On Sunday, Troutwine scored the overtime-winning goal in a 4-3 road win in St. Cloud against the Norsemen. For the season, Troutwine is having a career-best season with 32 points in 45 games played to date. “Will was tremendous this weekend and has been all season. His combination as a relentless defender, and someone who can provide offense consistently makes him very valuable to our team. Will is a terrific player, teammate and high character young man. The Jets organization is proud of Will for earning this recognition,” said Jets head coach Parker Burgess.
2nd Star: Shane Soderwall, G, Anchorage Wolverines
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Brayden Cook, D, Springfield Jr. Blues – Sam Frandina, D, Chippewa Steel – Kayden Hargraves, G, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Isaac Keller, F, Springfield Jr. Blues – Joe Kelly, F, Chippewa Steel – Jack Larrigan, F, Janesville Jets – Cameron Morris, F, Anchorage Wolverines
South Division Star of the Week: Carter Clafton, Goaltender, Amarillo Wranglers
The Amarillo Wranglers stayed in the South Division playoff race with a weekend road sweep of the El Paso Rhinos. In goal for both wins was newly acquired netminder Carter Clafton. The 6’2/160 lbs. native of Grand Rapids, MN, stopped 60 of a possible 63 shots in the two wins. On Friday, Clafton, 19, made 30 saves in a 5-1 win. On Saturday, he made another 30 saves in a 3-2 win. Since joining the Wranglers in February, Clafton had posted a 4-2-1 record in seven games with Amarillo, which includes a 2.28 goals against average and .933 save percentage. “Carter’s game and confidence has really grown in the last month and he has been quick to apply instruction from our Goalie Consultant Erik Schardt. His positive attitude and daily extra work has given our team a big boost of energy. Carter is a very humble young man and is most deserving of this recognition,” said Wranglers head coach Harry Mahood.
2nd Star: Burke Simpson, F, Shreveport Mudbugs
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Mitchell Becker, D, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Michael Casey Jr., F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Jack Collins, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Tanner Daniels, F, Lone Star Brahmas – Connor Gatto, F, Shreveport Mudbugs – Beni Halasz, G, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Colby Seitz, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Kristaps Skrastins, F, Amarillo Wranglers