Bandits' Kinkaid named Most Valuable Player
The North American Hockey League announced today its Most Valuable Player,
Forward of the Year, Defenseman of the Year, Goaltender of the Year and its
nominee for the Dave Tyler USA Hockey Junior Player of the Year, along with
its All-NAHL Team, for the 2008-09 season.
St. Louis Bandits goaltender Keith Kinkaid has been named Most Valuable
Player, Goaltender of the Year and the NAHL’s nominee for the Dave Tyler USA
Hockey Junior Player of the Year. He was also named to the All-NAHL Team.
In his first NAHL season, Kinkaid, from Farmingville, N.Y., helped 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).
“In our eyes, Keith is as high-end as you can get at this level,” said
Bandits head coach Jeff Brown. “What separates him from a lot of other
players in junior hockey is his preparation and his will to win. If we win
3-0, Keith is happy; if we win 8-7, Keith is happy. All he wants to do is
Behind the 19-year-old Kinkaid, an NAHL Top Prospects Tournament participant
who has committed to Union College (ECAC) for next season, the Bandits also
advanced to the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament, which they have won
the last two seasons.
“Keith is a team player and we wouldn't take another goalie in junior hockey
right now,” Brown added. “He has a bright future in this game.”
Fairbanks Ice Dogs forward Austin Block has been named Forward of the Year.
The 19-year-old Block, from Northridge, Calif., won the NAHL’s
regular-season scoring title with 73 points (29 goals). His 44 assists
ranked second in the league. Block was also named to the All-NAHL Team.
Fairbanks defenseman Drew Darwitz has been named Defenseman of the Year.
Darwitz, from Cottage Grove, Minn., led all NAHL blueliners in
regular-season scoring this regular season with 39 points (two goals) in 55
games. The 20-year-old also held a plus-41 rating, tied for seventh best in
the league. Darwitz was also named to the All-NAHL Team.
2008-09 All-NAHL Team
Forward: Austin Block, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Forward: Jordan George, Topeka RoadRunners
Forward: Brandon Saad, Mahoning Valley Phantoms
Defenseman: Drew Darwitz, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Defenseman: Tyler Elbrecht, St. Louis Bandits
Goaltender: Keith Kinkaid, St. Louis Bandits
The NAHL's Robertson Cup Championship Tournament kicks off on Tuesday. For more information, visit RobertsonCup.com.
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.