NAHL announces monthly player awards for January
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its monthly player awards for the month of January. The Forward of the Month is Andrew Clarke from the St. Cloud Norsemen. The Defenseman of the Month is Michael Neumeier, from the Bismarck Bobcats. The Goaltender of the Month is Simon Bucheler from the Shreveport Mudbugs. Only players who are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the NAHL monthly awards.
Bauer Hockey NAHL Forward of the Month: Andrew Clarke, St. Cloud Norsemen
St. Cloud Norsemen rookie forward Andrew Clarke, 18, had his best month in the NAHL in January to earn Forward of the Month honors. The 5’11/160 lbs. native of St. Louis, MO, put up 17 points in 10 games played, which included nine goals, eight assists, and a +9 rating. Clarke recorded at least a point in nine of the 10 games played and had six multi-point games. He enters the month of February riding an eight-game point streak. Clarke is tied for 3rd in team scoring with 28 points in 30 games played so far during the 2022-23 season. “Andrew had a tough start to the season battling mononucleosis but has since started to grow and get his game going a lot better and that has translated to some production,” said Norsemen head coach Corey Millen.
“Our group knew as the calendar turned to 2023, we weren’t in a spot we wanted to be in, and all knew with the pieces we had in the room that we had the ability to change that. Since then as a group, we have just been much better collectively, which has led the teams recent success and my own,” said Clarke. “Our goal for this season since the start of the year has been to first make it into playoffs, and from there to win the Robertson Cup. My personal goals since I was a kid have been to play NCAA Division I college hockey, and to then pursue professional hockey after that.”
Runner-Up: Chase LaPinta, Minot Minotauros
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): David Andreychuk, Northeast Generals – Michael Casey, Aberdeen Wings – Simone Dadie, North Iowa Bulls – Garett Drotts, Kenai River Brown Bears – Emerson Goode, Odessa Jackalopes – Ben Ivey, Amarillo Wranglers – Patrick Johnson, Bismarck Bobcats – Max Martin, Wisconsin Windigo – Kevin Marx Noren, Minnesota Wilderness – Jonny Meiers, Maine Nordiques – Drake Morse, Shreveport Mudbugs – Jackson Reineke, Anchorage Wolverines – Austin Salani, Austin Bruins – Adam Schankula, Maryland Black Bears – Sully Scholle, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Connor Sedlak, Philadelphia Rebels – Brendan Williams, Oklahoma Warriors – Michael Young, New Jersey Titans
Bauer Hockey NAHL Defenseman of the Month: Michael Neumeier, Bismarck Bobcats
Bismarck Bobcats defenseman Michael Neumeier, 19, had another solid month, winning his second NAHL Defenseman of the Month honor for the 2022-23 season. The 6’3/193 lbs. native of Kerobert, SK, recorded 11 points in 9 games during January and put up a +12 rating in the process. Neumeier had a goal and 10 assists during the month, which included two multi-point games. For the season, the Colgate recruit currently leads all NAHL defensemen in scoring with 32 points in 38 games played to date. “Michael has been a difference maker on the blueline for us all year. His skill set not only eliminating pressure 5 on 5, but his ability to quarterback a powerplay is what he does best,” said Bobcats head coach Layne Sedevie.
“Looking back on January, I would say we were successful when we played as a team rather than individuals and had a focus on playing hard in the defensive zone,” said Neumeier. “I think personally, my decision making when to join in the play and when to stay back and my net front play has improved a lot since the start of the season.”
Runner-Up: Broten Sabo, St. Cloud Norsemen
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Owen Baumgartner, Oklahoma Warriors – Devon Carlstrom, Aberdeen Wings – Matt DeSpirit, Northeast Generals – Sonny DiNubile, Philadelphia Rebels – Jimmy Goffredo, Austin Bruins – Jackson Hay, Odessa Jackalopes – David Helledy, Maine Nordiques – Hayden Hennen, Anchorage Wolverines – Logan Heroux, Shreveport Mudbugs – Jeff Hutchinson, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Frank Jenkins, Wisconsin Windigo – Adam Mahler, Minot Minotauros – Ben Monson, Kenai River Brown Bears – Pierce Patterson, Amarillo Wranglers – Carter Theissen, North Iowa Bulls
True Hockey NAHL Goaltender of the Month: Simon Bucheler, Shreveport Mudbugs
Shreveport Mudbugs goalie Simon Bucheler, 20, was named the NAHL Goaltender of the Month for the second month in a row. The 6’2/185 lbs, native of Saint-Laurent, Quebec posted a 3-1-1 record in five games during the month of January. The Mercyhurst University recruit stopped 127 of 134 shots during the month, which was good for a 1.39 goals against average and a .945 save percentage, which included two shutout wins. For the season, Bucheler is tied for 3rd in the NAHL with 15 wins and ranks 3rd in goals against average with a 1.89 mark. “Simon didn’t disappoint this past month. He played very strong when we were really leaning on him. He’s doing his best to lead this team right now so hopefully everyone else will follow and start leading in their own way. Aside from the great play, Simon is an outstanding teammate with so many great qualities that any coach loves to see,” said Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell.
“The South Division this year, like most, is super tight in the standings and in competition. Having the opportunity to play in games fighting for playoff positioning is always fun, as the intensity is usually elevated. Teams like Oklahoma and Lone Star are both good because they work hard and stick to their game plan, similarly to us. Our games against them this month demonstrated a lot of the good that this team has to offer. I’m excited to continue growing with the group of guys in Shreveport as we get closer to the playoff push,” said Bucheler. “Our coaches have done a really good job at teaching us how to play the right way. We need to keep learning from our successes and failures. I think that if we continue to work hard and do the little things right, this group will find success from now until the end of the season, and hopefully we have a great playoff push.”
Runner-Up: Trent Wiemken, Austin Bruins
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Will Craig, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Ethan Dahlmeir, St. Cloud Norsemen - Mitch Day, North Iowa Bulls – Kael DePape, Maine Nordiques – Daniel Duris, Oklahoma Warriors – Luca Ganz, Amarillo Wranglers – Jakub Krbecek, Philadelphia Rebels – Linards Lipskis, Bismarck Bobcats – Cole Moore, Aberdeen Wings – Gergely Orosz, Odessa Jackalopes – Isak Posch, Minnesota Wilderness – Shane Soderwall, Anchorage Wolverines – Nils Wallstrom, Kenai River Brown Bears