The North American Hockey League announced today its 11 finalists for the Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year, which is presented annually to the outstanding American-born player in junior hockey.
“The entire league congratulates all of these young men for their accomplishments this season, both on and off the ice,” said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “They are all worthy candidates who have helped make the NAHL one of the top junior leagues in the country.”
The award is named after Dave Tyler, who served on USA Hockey’s Board of Directors for 32 years and played an instrumental role in the development and growth of junior hockey in the United States. He was elected as a Director Emeritus in 2007.
The NAHL will announce its official nominee for the Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year next week.
The eleven NAHL finalists are listed alphabetically below.
Sam Bozoian, Forward, St. Louis Bandits
The 21-year-old from St. Charles, Mo., totaled 16 goals for 46 points in 39 games for the NAHL’s regular-season champions. He was also a plus-22. Bozoian has committed to Harvard University (ECACHL) for next season.
Adam Cardwell, Forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats
The veteran forward from Long Beach, Calif., won the NAHL’s scoring title this season with 91 points (32 goals) in 56 games. He was also a plus-29. Cardwell, 20, will attend the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (CCHA) this coming fall.
Aaron Gens, Defenseman, Topeka Roadrunners
The veteran defenseman led all NAHL blueliners in scoring this season with 58 points (12 goals) in 53 games. The 21-year-old from Baudette, Minn., also led the league with a plus-41 rating. Gens will attend the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (CCHA) next season.
Derek Graham, Forward, Mahoning Valley Phantoms
The second-year forward from Schoolcraft, Mich., led the Phantoms in scoring this season with 30 goals for 71 points in 57 games. The 19-year-old was also a plus-21. Graham has committed to Ferris State University (CCHA) for next season.
Tim Kirby, Defenseman, Southern Minnesota Express
The second-year defenseman from Austin, Minn., totaled six goals for 43 points in 56 games this season. The 19-year-old has committed to the Air Force Academy (Atlantic Hockey) for the coming fall.
Robby Moss, Goaltender, North Iowa Outlaws
The second-year goaltender posted the NAHL’s best goals-against average (1.91) and set a single-season record with a .941 save percentage while compiling a 28-7-4 record for the Central Division regular-season champions. Moss, 20, will attend St. Lawrence University (ECACHL) next season.
Corey Patterson, Forward, Springfield Jr. Blues
The second-year forward from Huntington Beach, Calif., totaled 22 goals for 54 points in 57 games this season. He was also a plus-10. Patterson, 20, has committed to Army (Atlantic Hockey) for next season.
Cody Reichard, Goaltender, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
The 21-year-old goaltender from Celina, Ohio, fashioned a 33-15-2 record this season to compliment a 2.05 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage. He also led the NAHL with seven shutouts. Reichard will attend Miami University (CCHA) next season.
Eric Ringel, Defenseman, Mahoning Valley Phantoms
The second-year defenseman from Hinckley, Ohio, registered seven goals for 27 points in 50 games this season. The 17-year-old was also a plus-10. Ringel, who was recognized by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau on its midseason rankings of 2008 draft-eligibles, has committed to the University of Notre Dame (CCHA).
Luke Salazar, Forward, Wichita Falls Wildcats
The second-year forward from Denver finished second in league scoring this season with 87 points in 58 games. His 41 goals led the league. The 19-year-old was also a plus-25. Salazar has committed to the University of Denver (WCHA) for next season.
Ben Warda, Forward, St. Louis Bandits
The second-year forward led the NAHL’s regular-season champions in scoring with 31 goals for 74 points in 58 games. He was also a plus-29. Warda, 20, will attend Michigan State University (CCHA) next season.