The North American Hockey League announced today its final four nominees - one per division - for the Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year Award, which is presented annually by USA Hockey to the outstanding American-born player in junior hockey.
Out of the four players, listed alphabetically by division below, one will be chosen by the NAHL’s Junior Player of the Year Selection Committee as the league’s final nominee, which will be announced at the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament banquet on Monday, April 27, and submitted to USA Hockey’s blue-ribbon coaches and administrators for consideration, along with candidates from every other USA Hockey-sanctioned junior league.
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 last NAHL player to win the award was Springfield Jr. Blues forward Greg Rallo (2001-02).
David Bosner, Goaltender, Bismarck Bobcats
Bosner, an Air Force Academy recruit, fashioned a 24-7-1 record to compliment a 1.83 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage, helping the Bobcats to a Central Division regular-season championship. The 20-year-old from Chesterfield, Mo., was named the GDI Goaltender of the Month for January.
Brandon Saad, Forward, Mahoning Valley Phantoms
Saad, in his first season with the Phantoms, totaled 29 goals for 47 points in 47 regular-season games. The 16-year-old from Gibsonia, Pa., also played for Team USA at the 2009 World Under-17 Challenge, in which he was named to the tournament's all-star team.
Keith Kinkaid, Goaltender, St. Louis Bandits
A 19-year-old Union College recruit from Farmingville, N.Y., Kinkaid, in his first NAHL season, helped lead the Bandits to their second straight regular-season championship, leading all NAHL goaltenders in wins (30), goals-against average (1.78), save percentage (.935) and shutouts (seven).
Austin Block, Forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Block, a 19-year-old from Northridge, Calif., in his second season with the Ice Dogs, led the NAHL in scoring with 73 points (29 goals) in 57 games to help Fairbanks to the West Division regular-season championship.