The North American Hockey League announced today that Bismarck Bobcats forward John Wickman and Wenatchee Wild defenseman Adam McKenzie have been named the co-recipients of this year’s Academic Achievement Award.
Wickman, a 21-year-old from Garland, Texas, graduated from North Texas Academy in 2006 with a 4.0 GPA, which ranked him in the top 5 percent of his class. This year, he has taken 16 college credit hours (31 hours total) while maintaining a 4.0.
“John is a young man who is going to have a very successful future,” said Bobcats head coach Byron Pool. “He’s one of those people you know will be great at whatever career path he chooses.”
Wickman, who registered a 32 on his ACT, was also selected to participate in the Winston National Science Fair and is member of the National Merit Honors Society.
“All of the characteristics that make him a great hockey player and leader will continue to aid him in his collegiate and personal life,” Pool added. “The Bobcats organization couldn’t be happier for John and his family for all his accomplishments, on and off the ice.”
McKenzie, an 18-year-old from Petaluma, Calif., graduated with High Honors from St. Vincent de Paul High School with an advanced placement adjusted GPA of 4.33, ranking him fifth out of his class of 110 in 2008.
“Adam is an exemplary student-athlete and a role model for all junior hockey players,” said Wild head coach Paul Baxter. “His sustained focus and excellence on the academic side, combined with his leadership and prowess on the rink, makes him a very deserving winner of the award.”
A member of the National Honor Society, McKenzie, who will attend the Air Force Academy next season, also registered a 2050 on his SAT and a 32 on his ACT.
“The Air Force Academy has committed to an exceptional young man who will be a integral part of their program in the upcoming years,” Baxter added.
McKenzie has also been recognized with a number of accolades for his efforts in the classroom, including the Bank of America Award for Math and the Calculus Top Performing Student as a senior at St. Vincent de Paul.
The California Federal Scholar was also the recipient of the Doyle Full Tuition Scholarship to Santa Rosa (Calif.) Junior College.
The NAHL Coach of the Year, General Manager of the Year and Organization of the Year will be announced next week.
The All-NAHL Team, Goaltender of the Year, Defenseman of the Year, Forward of the Year and Most Valuable Player will be announced at the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament banquet on Monday, April 27.
The North American Hockey League, the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II league boasting 19 teams from across the country, including the esteemed USA Hockey National Team Development Program, prides itself on the social maturity and skill development of student-athletes ages 16-20 with aspirations of advancing to collegiate and/or professional hockey.