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NAHL announces 2012-13 season awards

May 8, 2013

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the remainder of its awards for the 2012-13 season.  The selections are based on performance during the 2012-13 regular season, as voted upon by the league’s 24 head coaches.
 
The 2012-13 season awards include: Most Valuable Player, Forward of the Year, Defenseman of the Year, Brian’s Goaltender of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, General Manager of the Year and Organization of the Year, along with the Academic Achievement Award, Community Service Award and Mark Messier Leadership Award.  Here is a look at the winners:
 
2012-13 Most Valuable Player and Forward of the Year:  Jared VanWormer, Soo Eagles
Like many players that play in the league, Soo Eagles forward Jared VanWormer, 20, is a perfect example of how the NAHL is supposed to work.  The native of Traverse City, Michigan, just completed his third season in the league and ended up as its leading scorer during the 2012-13 season with 76 points (25 goals, 51 assists) in 60 games played.  His 51 assists also led the league and his +35 rating ranked 7th.  This past February, VanWormer played in the 2013 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament as a part of the Great Lakes team.  In 176 career NAHL regular season games, VanWormer tallied 58 goals and 85 assists for 143 career points.  In 14 career playoff games, he totaled six points (2 goals, 4 assists). VanWormer has secured an NCAA Division I commitment to Ferris State University.
 
2012-13 Defenseman of the Year:  Josh Hartley, Wenatchee Wild
Wenatchee Wild defenseman Josh Hartley, 21, completes his third and final season in an NAHL uniform as one of the most decorated defensemen in league history.  This season, the native of Coquitlam, British Columbia, led all NAHL defensemen in points with 43 in 58 games played.  His 34 assists were tops among all NAHL defensemen and his +21 rating ranked in the Top 10.  In 170 career NAHL regular season games, Hartley recorded 95 points from the blueline (25 goals, 70 assists).  Prior to playing in Wenatchee this season, Hartley played two years for the Dawson Creek Rage.  He played in the 2012 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament as a part of Team West.  Hartley has secured an NCAA Division I commitment to Dartmouth College.
 
2012-13 Brian’s Goaltender of the Year: Tyler Marble, Soo Eagles
This year’s Brian’s Goaltender of the Year is Soo Eagles goaltender Tyler Marble.  A veteran of three NAHL seasons, the native of Howell, Michigan, led the Eagles to the North Division regular season title in 2012-13.  In the process, Marble, 21, recorded the highest save percentage in the NAHL at 93.8%.  He also led the league in saves with 1,463 and was tied for 3rd in wins with 30.  In Marble’s three-year NAHL career, which began with the Traverse City North Stars and ended with the Soo Eagles, he recorded a career record of 67 wins, 26 losses and 7 overtime/shootout losses with nine shutouts.  He posted a career goals against average of 2.76 and a career save percentage of 91.5%.  Marble played in the NAHL Top Prospects event in late 2010 in Boston, MA.  Marble has secured an NCAA Division I commitment to Colorado College.
 
2012-13 Rookie of the Year: Brandon Hawkins, Texas Tornado
Relatively unknown to start the 2012-13 season, Texas Tornado forward Brandon Hawkins, 19, burst onto the scene as a 18-year-old rookie in September.  By the end of October, he registered 21 points (including 15 goals) in his first 15 games in the NAHL.  His 16 points in the month of October led the NAHL and Hawkins was named as the NAHL’s Forward of the Month.  He continued on a hot pace as he helped the Tornado to winning streaks of nine straight games in September-October and 10 straight games in December-January, both of which were NAHL-highs this past season.  The native of Macomb, Michigan finished with 58 points in 60 games played during the 2012-13 season.  His 35 goals led the league and his nine power play goals ranked in the Top 10.  In February, Hawkins played in the 2013 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament as a part of the NAHL 18U Selects team where he tied for the team lead in scoring with four points in three games.  Hawkins has secured an NCAA Division I commitment to Bowling Green State University.
 
2012-13 Coach of the Year:  Dennis Williams, Amarillo Bulls
Under the direction of head coach Dennis Williams the Amarillo Bulls secured a third straight Robertson Cup appearance, a third straight NAHL South Division playoff title, a second consecutive NAHL regular season title and highest point total and a second consecutive NAHL South Division regular season title.  In addition, a league-leading 13 players on the current Amarillo roster have secured an NCAA commitment.  Pretty remarkable numbers for a head coach finishing just his third season in the league.  The Bulls also equaled their NAHL-record total of 99 points this past season, a mark that they also set last season.  Their 46 wins and seven regulation losses both led the NAHL.  The Bulls also finished the season as the #1 ranked offense and the #1 ranked defense in the league.  Williams also was the coach of team Texas at the 2013 NAHL Robertson Cup Tournament.
 
2012-13 General Manager of the Year:  Rob Proffitt, Fairbanks Ice Dogs  
Under the direction of General Manager Rob Proffitt, the Ice Dogs had another successful season, both on the ice and in the community.  On the ice, the Ice Dogs won 39 games during the regular season and advanced to a Division Finals in the playoffs for a sixth straight season. They also had nine players commit to NCAA schools so far this season.  Proffitt has also developed one of the most impressive lists of corporate partners in the NAHL.  Perhaps more impressively, he helped his team sellout 24 of possible 28 home games this season, which lead the NAHL.  With a seating capacity of 2,242 at the Big Dipper Ice Arena, the Ice Dogs averaged 2,209 fans during the 2012-13 season, which put them at an amazing 98.5% capacity.  This marks Proffitt’s third consecutive year of being honored as NAHL General Manager of the Year.
 
2012-13 Organization of the Year:  Johnstown Tomahawks 
Johnstown is a hockey town, and the fans proved it once again by welcoming the NAHL’s Johnstown Tomahawks with enthusiasm as the team revitalized a community with a rich hockey tradition.  The Tomahawks finished fifth in the NAHL in total and average attendance, which included 11 home games with 3,000 fans or more. That’s an impressive stat for a first-year team in a market that had never witnessed NAHL action. The team also made the playoffs in their first season in Johnstown and had three players make NCAA Division I commitments.  While there was a lot to celebrate on game nights the Tomahawks were equally as impressive in the community. The Johnstown Tomahawks Foundation directly donated and assisted with donations exceeding $25,000 during the inaugural 2012-13 season. By providing both donations and assisting with community events, the team contributed to over 15 local charitable, non-profit, and youth hockey organizations.  Among these organizations are the Special Olympics of Western PA, Conemaugh Health Foundation Cancer Fund, Planet Ice Arena – Ziggy’s Kids Hockey Program, Portage School SAAD, Johnstown Police K-9 Unit, the Tomahawks Booster Club, and the Forest Hills Girls Varsity Volleyball Event, “Spike Autism.”
 
2012-13 Academic Achievement Award: Drew Kariofiles, Topeka RoadRunners
The balancing act required for an athlete to maintain a level of excellence both in their sport and in the classroom can be a challenging one, but it’s one that Topeka RoadRunner captain Drew Kariofiles has not only embraced, but mastered.   Kariofiles has been taking online classes with Miami University Middletown; a state-assisted regional campus of Miami University located in Middletown, Ohio.  It is the oldest regional campus of Miami University. His program is for a Bachelor of Arts degree in University Studies, and his grades have been exemplary. He recorded straight A’s in four classes: English, History, Psychology and Sociology.  His percent average in the four college courses was a 97.51%.  The numbers speak for themselves, and would be impressive under any circumstance, but when one considers the toll of being a junior hockey player, with all the travel, practices, games, workouts, and public appearances, the achievement becomes all the more impressive. Then when you factor in that Drew has been the captain of his team, his academic success was all the more remarkable.
 
2012-13 Community Service Award:  Ryan Cole, Amarillo Bulls
Ryan Cole’s Community Humanitarian project during the 2012-13 season was for Habitat for Humanity (H for H). H for H is an organization that has strong roots in local communities and builds houses for those who are less fortunate and would not be able to afford it. Ryan felt it was important to help lead the charge in regards to community outreach within the city of Amarillo. When he arrived at the beginning of the season he put together Bulls4Habitat, a charity that would raise money for Habitat for Humanity. His goal at the beginning of the year was to raise at least $5,000 for the organization and donate his time to help build houses in the community. As the year went on he organized and ran fundraising events at local Chili's, Youth Fun Houses, the Amarillo Discovery Center and at the rink during games to reach his goal. Ryan had a booth set up at home games offering up chances to donate to the Bulls4Humanity project as well as participate in auctions and raffles with proceeds going to B4H. These items were donated to the Amarillo Bulls specifically for the Habitat For Humanity project by local businesses. Ryan also managed to get an Autographed and personalized Rodney Atkins (Country Musician) Amarillo Bulls Jersey. The Jersey was also raffled off with all proceeds donated directly to B4H. At the end of the season over $7,000 and counting was raised by Cole and his efforts for the Amarillo Chapter of Habitat For Humanity. The most impressive and exciting part of the whole campaign is that the Amarillo Habitat For Humanity chapter has decided to dedicate their next built house to Ryan and his organization, Bulls4Habitat. Construction on the Bulls4Habitat house began on April 20th with a ground-breaking and special presentation made by Ryan and his teammates.
 
2012-13 Mark Messier Leadership Award:  Conor Lemirande, Janesville Jets
Lemirande, a native of Janesville, WI, has been a rock-solid cornerstone for the Jets on the ice and in their community. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound forward recorded 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) and 127 penalty minutes in 54 games during the 2012-13 season, his second season with the Jets. He has established himself as a selfless leader who never hesitates to stand up for his teammates.  He is a great leader on and off of the ice and leads in areas other than hockey. He helped raise money for the Salvation Army, he helped collect toys for toys for tots and he also raised money for Mercy Health Cancer Awareness.  He totaled 87 hours of community service from September-April. He was a big motivator for his teammates to get more involved in the community on a regular basis. He led the team every month in community service hours and even after the season is over he is still volunteering in the community of Janesville. Some of the programs that Conor volunteered for were Big Brothers/Big Sisters, as Conor was a Big Brother for the entire season. As a Big Brother Conor was responsible to mentor, play sports with, help with homework and just be a big brother. Conor also volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club where he was a lunch buddy for elementary child in Janesville.  The Mark Messier Project Leadership Award was established in 2010-11, and recognizes the NAHL player who best exemplifies strong leadership both on and off the ice.

 
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