NAHL announces 2022-23 season awards
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced awards for the 2022-23 season. The selections are based on performance during the 2022-23 regular season, as voted upon by the league’s 29 Head Coaches.
Watch: 2022-23 NAHL Awards Show
The 2022-23 season awards include: All-NAHL 1st and 2nd Teams, NAHL All-Rookie Team, Most Valuable Player, Forward of the Year, Defenseman of the Year, True Hockey Goaltender of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, General Manager of the Year, Executive of the Year, Organization of the Year, Broadcaster of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year, along with the Apex Learning Virtual School Academic Achievement Award, Leadership Award and Community Service Award. Here is a look at the winners:
All-NAHL 1st Team
Forward: David Andreychuk, Northeast Generals
Forward: Joey Delgreco, Oklahoma Warriors
Forward: Hunter Longhi, Minot Minotauros
Defense: Owen Baumgartner, Oklahoma Warriors
Defense: Pierce Patterson, Amarillo Wranglers
Goalie: Simon Bucheler, Shreveport Mudbugs
All-NAHL 2nd Team
Forward: Chase LaPinta, Minot Minotauros
Forward: Kevin Marx Noren, Minnesota Wilderness
Forward: Jackson Reineke, Anchorage Wolverines
Defense: Joey Potter, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Defense: Luke Van Why, Maryland Black Bears
Goalie: Jakub Krbecek, Philadelphia Rebels
NAHL All-Rookie Team
Forward: Joey Delgreco, Oklahoma Warriors
Forward: David Deputy, Philadelphia Rebels
Forward: Chase LaPinta, Minot Minotauros
Defense: Weston Knox, Minot Minotauros
Defense: Trent Powell, Anchorage Wolverines
Goalie: Gavin Moffatt, Wisconsin Windigo
2022-23 Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year: Joey Delgreco, Oklahoma Warriors
Delgreco, 19, had an impressive first season of junior hockey. The 5’10/163 lbs. native of Grand Rapids, MN, finished 3rd in league scoring during the 2022-23 season with 69 points (22 goals, 47 assists) in 60 regular season games played. On November 30, 2022, Delgreco announced his commitment to play NCAA Division I hockey for Augustana University.
2022-23 Forward of the Year: Hunter Longhi, Minot Minotauros
Longhi, 21, finished the season 2nd in league scoring with 71 points (22 goals, 49 assists) in 58 games played. The 5’8/175 lbs. native of Collinsville, IL, was the NAHL’s Forward of the Month in February and was the Central Division Star of the Week twice during the 2022-23 season. He is committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for American International College next season.
2022-23 Defenseman of the Year: Pierce Patterson, Amarillo Wranglers
Amarillo defenseman Pierce Patterson, 21, was a threat at both ends of the ice this season for the Wranglers. The 5’10/170 lbs. native of Austin, TX, led all NAHL defensemen in scoring this season with 57 points (13 goals, 44 assists) in 57 regular season games played. He was named the NAHL’s Defenseman of the Month for March and his 57 points not only tied for the team lead in scoring, but was the most for an NAHL defenseman since the 2018-19 season. He is committed to play NCAA Division I hockey next season at Army-West Point.
2022-23 True Hockey Goaltender of the Year: Simon Bucheler, Shreveport Mudbugs
Bucheler, 21, was a solid force between the pipes for the Mudbugs. The 6’2/185 lbs. native of Saint-Laurent, PQ, led the NAHL in wins this past season with 28. He stopped 927 of a possible 999 shots this season, which was good for a 1.92 goals against average and .922 save percentage. He was 2nd in the NAHL in goals against average and shutouts. He is committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for Mercyhurst University.
2022-23 Coach of the Year: Garrett Roth, Oklahoma Warriros
In his third season behind the bench for the Warriors, Head Coach Garrett Roth led his team to the best record in the NAHL during the 2022-23 regular season with a 44-14-2 mark. The Warriors won the NAHL’s South Division regular season title as well and had the league’s top offense, scoring 4.22 goals per game. In addition, the Warriors had 10 players committed to NCAA Division I schools by the end of the regular season.
2022-23 General Manager of the Year: Clint Mylymok, Maryland Black Bears
Maryland Black Bears Head Coach and General Manager Clint Mylymok helped his club achieve another level of team success in 2022-23. By the end of the 2022-23 regular season, the Black Bears had 13 players committed to NCAA Division I schools and won the East Division regular season title for the first time with 40 wins.
2022-23 Executive of the Year: Rick Bouchard, Johnstown Tomahawks
In his final season of ownership of the Johnstown Tomahawks, team Owner and Governor Rick Bouchard was honored as the Executive of the Year for a third time, having previous won the award in 2018-19 and 2019-20. The Tomahawks continued to enhance their status in the community with another solid showing in attendance this past season, finishing 7th in the NAHL.
2022-23 Organization of the Year: Oklahoma Warriors
The Warriors were a force on and off the ice in their first year in their new home. After moving from Wichita Falls in the off-season, the Warriors were embraced by the local community and had a solid season at the box office with several sold-out games. On the ice, the Warriors won the NAHL’s regular season and South Division titles and had 10 players committed to NCAA Division I schools by the end of the regular season.
2022-23 Apex Learning Virtual School Academic Achievement Award: Matthew Desiderio, Austin Bruins
Along with the hours it takes to play at high level of junior hockey, Matt has been taking a full course of high school classes. Matt has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA all throughout high school career while receiving High Honors. Matt’s high school schedule consists of both Honor and AP courses. His hard work on and off the ice and in the classroom, has earned him a commitment to further his hockey and academic career at Brown University, one of the top academic institutions in the United States.
2022-23 Leadership Award: Brad McNeil, Maryland Black Bears
The Maryland Black Bears coaching staff describes Brad McNeil as the best leader the team has ever had and the best captain they have ever had the privilege of coaching. The success of the team this season is a direct reflection of Brad's leadership. Brad always talks in terms of ‘we’ and never ‘me.’ He is quick to always deflect credit to his teammates. He came to Maryland as an unknown, untendered, and undrafted player. He developed into an NCAA Division 1 athlete and player through his hard work and determination. He has not complained once since he has been in Maryland. He has been very well received by the fans, community, and staff. Brad had shown early on that he was going to be a captain. His voice and ‘lead by example’ work ethic was evident from Day 1. He is a true leader makes everyone around him better. The coaches can't always be around the room, but there must be trust with the captains and players in that room. Brad is an extension of the coaches’ thoughts/beliefs in how an excellent program needs to operate. He leads by example and holds everyone accountable to do things the "Maryland Black Bear" way. On the road, Brad is the one who takes charge and makes sure things are done the right way. He helps clean up the bus after road trips, and never asks someone to do things. He just simply leads by example....and his teammates follow. During community events Brad acts as a great ambassador for the team and is quick with a smile, handshake, and introduction. In a world where most kids struggle with these types of social interactions, Brad excels. Brad has set the bar very high for the program in terms of expectations, on and off the ice. Without him, the team would not have been able to show such growth, on or off the ice, and have been fortunate to have him be a part of the community and program for three years. His teammates from this season will notice as their careers progress, how fortunate they were to have Brad as their Captain. They won't have another Captain like him for many years, if at all.
2022-23 Community Service Award: Hayden Nichol, Shreveport Mudbugs
Hayden has always been the first player to step up to give back to the Shreveport community. Hayden help lead the team in “Read Across America" campaign reaching out to 32 schools that included over 4,700 kids in a three-day reading marathon in the Shreveport/Bossier City area. Hayden has often surprised young fans by attending birthday parties and helped organize a surprise visit to support Mudbugs Honorary Coach, Chris Layne, Special Olympic softball game. He visited the Shriners Children hospital, passing out stuffed animals and toys from the annual teddy bear toss game. After the visit he was inspired to shave his head for St. Baldricks LSU Health children cancer awareness. Other community give back opportunities that Hayden has been involved with include; Louisiana Association for the blind skating program, giving back to the armed forces by visiting Barksdale Airforce base delivering tickets to the airmen and others who serve us, trying to promote the game of hockey in PE classes by playing and demonstration ball hockey in the local schools, helped in raising fund for the "Make a Wish Foundation" partnering with the ladies of CHI Omega Centenary College of Louisiana and attending every Saturday night post game skate. During the 2022-23 season, Nichol accumulated over 100 hours of community service.
2022-23 Broadcaster of the Year: Zach Defreitas, Springfield Jr. Blues
Springfield Jr. Blues broadcaster Zach Defreitas was hired by the team in 2018 as the Director of Marketing and Communications. In his second year with the team, he began sharing his unique brand of broadcasting for road games and was slated to be broadcasting full-time for the 2022-23 season. In March of 2022, Defreitas was diagnosed with cancer and fought the battle for a full year, continuing to work for the Jr. Blues this past season when he could and felt well enough. On March 17, 2023, Defreitas lost his battle with cancer and passed away. His natural delivery and call of the game connected fans to the team and game in a way only he could do.
2022-23 Volunteer of the Year: Trina Gilhooly, Bismarck Bobcats
Trina has been a billet parent for the Bobcats since 2004 and the team’s billet coordinator since 2014. She is the type of person who will do anything in her power to ensure the players and families are comfortable with one another and placed in the right setting. She makes sure the players adhere to a strict set of rules while in Bismarck, rules which are observed at the rink and at home. Billet family rules are also an important part of the guidelines for the players. Billet families are what make junior hockey possible, and Trina has gone above and beyond for the past 19 years and counting with the Bobcats organization. Without people like Trina, junior hockey would not be what it is today.