JASON ZUCKER 2015 LAS VEGAS HOCKEY PLAYER OF THE YEAR
By Lee Samuels
Las Vegas – Jason Zucker, who grew up playing youth hockey in Las Vegas and is now a high-action star goal scorer for the NHL Minnesota Wild, is the 2015 Vegas Hockey Player of the Year. He last played in town for a AAA Nevada Stars 16u team at the Las Vegas Ice Center.
He initially played roller hockey when his hockey dad Scott took him to see Larry Sanford, the legend roller coach, at the Crystal Palace roller rink. At the time, Jason was 3 1/2 years old. He brought his own hockey stick, a Trllogy with a black shaft, to the roller rink.
Great goal scorers were rewarded with major 2015 Vegas Hockey Awards.
Vincent Dekumbis, the star goal scorer for the WSHL Las Vegas Storm, received more votes than any other Vegas Hockey award winner at all age levels. Born in Fribourg, Switzerland, Vincent too went to his first hockey rink at the age of 3 1/2 years old.
Vincent’s father Armand said “I played hockey too. Our cousin Reto was many times a Swiss champion playing on the Swiss national team. Hockey is in our blood. Vincent is hoping to someday play for a major university and then his ultimate goal, the NHL.”
Las Vegas coach Gabe Gauthier said Vincent is the real deal on the ice.
“Vincent is fast and dynamic. He has a gift of scoring and creating opportunities,” Gauthier said.
Vincent, in his second season in Las Vegas, has 24 goals including five on powerplays, two short-handed and three game-winners.
He was selected to the WSHL All Star team and will play in an All Star game in Oklahoma City.
Cody Williams, a 26-goal goal scorer for the UNLV Rebels, was voted as UNLV’s Player of the Year. Cody, who is from Las Vegas, played in the Russell Stover midget program and then skated for a number of junior level teams. He scored 43 goals for the New Jersey Renegades junior team, then headed home to play for UNLV. He has six powerplay goals and two short-handed goals for the Rebels this season.
Gage Quinney, a Las Vegas skater who was traded from the powerful WHL Kelowna Rockets to the WHL Kamloops Blazers five games into the season, not only supplied awesome firepower but helped coach Don Hay turn around Kamloops team which is now in a playoff spot. Gage has 15 goals, 24 assists and leads all Las Vegas players away from home in scoring.
UNLV’s Terry Martin was voted the Goalie of the Year. He is the heartbeat of the Rebels in ice and roller. With the UNLV hockey club Terry has one shutout, a 90.3% save percentage and has performed at a high level against top teams. UNLV is off to its best season in years and are ranked #9 in the West for ACHA D2 teams.
The Coaches of the Year are Anthony Greener and Nick Robone who turned around the UNLV program into a Top 10 ranked power in a single season.
Robone said “…Anthony and I were initially brought in as coaches by Arturo Castro (president UNLV). He knew us for awhile and thought we would work well together to rebuild the program. Anthony, Zee Khan (UNLV GM) and I had numerous meetings before the season about building a culture, running practices and recruiting.
“We knew we had to bring in more players so we started with local players who we knew wanted to be part of something special. Tyler Wilson, Cody William, Ian Davis, Ethan Montoya and Mitchell Province were the first to commit.
“Zee has been in charge of the scheduling of games. He did a great job of it – just look at the great teams we have been playing. We will be extremely competitive next season as well,” Robone said.
Wally Lacroix was voted as Best Referee. He has been a top official for years in Las Vegas.
There were winners in new categories including Best Team Social/Twitter which was won by Megan Edmunds of UNLV. There were also Team Photographers voted in for the first time. Kendall Galor, who years ago skated roller at Crystal Palace on Rancho Drive, was voted Best Athletic Trainer.
2015 VEGAS HOCKEY AWARDS
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – JASON ZUCKER, NHL MINNESOTA WILD
PRO PLAYER OF THE YEAR – CHRIS FRANCIS, SAPA FEHERVAR AV19-HUNGARY
COLLEGE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – CORY WARD, BEMIDJI STATE
WHL PLAYER OF THE YEAR – GAGE QUINNEY, KAMLOOPS BLAZERS
BCHL PLAYER OF THE YEAR – BRENDAN HARRIS, WENATCHEE WILD
COACHES OF THE YEAR – ANTHONY GREENER, NICK ROBONE, UNLV
ROLLER COACH OF THE YEAR – ADAM TAMURA, UNLV
GOALIE OF THE YEAR – TERRY MARTIN, UNLV
WOMAN’S PLAYER OF THE THE YEAR – MEGAN MYERS, BOSTON BLADES
ROLLER HOCKEY PLAYER OF THE YEAR – AUSTIN SHANNON, UNLV REBELS
WSHL LAS VEGAS STORM AWARDS
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – VINCENT DEKUMBIS
BEST DEFENSEMAN – NIKITA TSVETOV
ALL HEART – JAKE MCKENNA
TEAM PHOTOGRAPHER AWARD – JOHN BROOKS
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – CODY WILLIAMS
BEST DEFENSEMAN – TREY JOHNSON
ALL HEART – STEVEN SCAMORZA
TEAM PHOTOGRAPHER AWARD – ALLIE ARMENDARIZ
AAA PLAYER OF THE YEAR – VITO CARLO, WEST COAST RENEGADES-UTAH
AAA/AA 16U LAS VEGAS STORM
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – BRENDAN FELIG
DEFENSEMAN OF THE YEAR – STEVEN AVALONE
GOALIE – ANTHONY BONALDI
ALL HEART – TYLER BROOKS
BANTAM AA LAS VEGAS STORM
PLAYERS OF THE YEAR – BRADEN LAPLACA, TUCKER NORMAN
DEFENSEMAN OF THE YEAR – JOHN HALLET
GOALIE – LUKE FUNDATOR
ALL HEART – JOEY TERRANA
TEAM PHOTOGRAPHER AWARD – JESSICA UNDERHILL
BANTAM A LAS VEGAS FLAMES
ALL HEART – ASHLEY PRINTZEN
HOCKEY PERSON OF THE YEAR – ZEE KHAN, GM, UNLV
BEST REFEREE – WALLY LACROIX
ATHLETIC TRAINER – KENDALL GALOR
BEST WEBSITE – LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER
BEST TEAM SOCIAL/TWITTER – MEGAN EDMUNDS, UNLV
BEST GAME NIGHT PROGRAM – WSHL LAS VEGAS STORM
BEST ARENA – LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER
BEST SNACK BAR – LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER – 13 STRAIGHT YEARS
BEST RINK COFFEE – LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER
ENTERTAINMENT GAME NIGHT – LAS VEGAS DESERT ICE DANCERS