JASON ZUCKER OF LAS VEGAS WITH THE NHL MINNESOTA WILD
Saturday, December 31, 2016
JASON ZUCKER 2016 PLAYER OF THE YEAR
By Lee Samuels
What a season Jason Zucker of Las Vegas is having for the NHL Minnesota Wild. He is a high action tremendously exciting skater on one of the best teams in the NHL.
Jason grew up in Las Vegas, first playing in roller with coach Larry Sanford at Crystal Palace – The Little Home of Champions on Rancho Drive – and then playing ice hockey at the Las Vegas Ice Center. Jason last played in town when he was about 15 years old skating on a AAA Nevada Stars 16u team coached by Wally Lacroix. Banners of Jason are hung with care at the Las Vegas Ice Center and at the SoBe Ice Arena. Each summer Jason skates in a charity game at the SoBe before sellout crowds.
Vegashockey.net readers have voted Jason the Las Vegas Hockey Player of the Year Award for 10 straight years.
Jason said “…I appreciate the support. It is an honor to represent the Las Vegas hockey community.”
UNLV’S dynamic hockey program led by GM Zee Khan, President Arturo Castro, head coach Anthony Greener and assistant coach Nick Robone won many awards here. Zee and his team helped lead the path to moving the Rebels from ACHA D2 to ACHA D1 for the 2017-18 season. Greener, one of the greatest – if not the greatest – player in UNLV hockey history – has constructed a UNLV team with top goalies, top defensemen and goal scorers including the amazing Cody Williams who was voted the UNLV Player of the Year for the second straight year. Terry Martin was voted Best Goalie. Niklas Giers was picked Best Defenseman. UNLV has a 20-3 record going into the second half of the season.
Cody, who scored 39 goals last season, has 24 goals this year.
Greener said “Cody is amazing on the ice, he is that talented. He’s definitely taking a leadership role this year and that is good to see.
“Giers is a tremendous dman and what makes him great is that he jumps right into a play and really he could be a top forward as well. It is amazing to think that Giers is just a freshman. As far as goalie Terry Martin goes, he is our backbone.
“Goalie Erik Eidissen (International Player of the Year) made his mark right right away. He and Alex Feese held down the back end when Terry Martin went down with an injury. Erik is a great locker room guy who loves to put in extra work at practices. It is awesome really to see international players who want to play for our program. I think players like Erik will pave the way for more international players to come to our program.”
GM/Head Coach Gabe Gauthier has worked hard to construct an exciting, contending team this season in the WSHL. One of his top players is a dynamic, hard skating Isaiah Letendre who is from Red Earth Creek, Alberta, Canada. Isaiah can score from a variety of ranges. He likes to burn down the right side and fire from that area. Isaiah is the number two all-time career goal scorer for the Storm, second only to WSHL All Star Vincent Dekumbis who played here last season.
Jake McKenna, one of the top dmen in the WSHL, won the Best Defenseman and All Heart for the second straight season. He is a determined hard worker on the ice who has played in more games than anyone for the Storm.
The Storm has a very exciting action player in Joey Allegrini who won the Rookie of the Year Award. A new goalie, Spencer Kozlowski, has made a huge impact in the net for the Storm which is in position to qualify for the WSHL playoffs this season.
Brendan Harris of Las Vegas is having a career-best season with an amazing 16 goals, 52 assists for 68 points for the BCHL Wenatchee Wild. Brendan has a college scholarship in place with Bemidji State.
Readers of Vegashockey.net voted for the winners of these awards.
2016 VEGAS HOCKEY AWARDS
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – JASON ZUCKER, NHL MINNESOTA WILD
PRO PLAYER OF THE YEAR – CHRIS FRANCIS, ECHL QUAD CITY MALLARDS
COLLEGE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – JOE SULLIVAN, ST LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY
LAS VEGAS INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
//GOALIE ERIK EIDISSEN – SWEDEN – UNLV
//NIKITA PINTUSOV – BELARUS – WSHL LAS VEGAS STORM
//BRYCE REDDICK – LAS VEGAS – AALBORG PIRATES, DENMARK
//MIKE TRIMBOLI – LAS VEGAS – EHC NEUWIED, GERMANY
LAS VEGAS INTERNATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR
//ROB PALLIN, HC TWK INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIAN ELITE LEAGUE
BCHL PLAYER OF THE YEAR – BRENDAN HARRIS, WENATCHEE WILD
BEST WSHL PLAYER AWAY FROM HOME – ERIC WILLIAMS, WSHL ONTARIO AVALANCHE
LAS VEGAS GIRL PLAYER OF THE YEAR – ASHLEY PRINTZEN, AAA COLORADO SELECTS 16U
LAS VEGAS COACHES OF THE YEAR – ANTHONY GREENER, NICK ROBONE, UNLV
LAS VEGAS ROLLER COACH OF THE YEAR – JARED JAEGER, UNLV
WSHL LAS VEGAS STORM AWARDS
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – ISAIAH LETENDRE
BEST DEFENSEMAN – JAKE MCKENNA
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – JOEY ALLEGRINI
ALL HEART – JAKE MCKENNA
GOALIE OF THE YEAR – SPENCER KOZLOWSKI
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – CODY WILLIAMS
BEST DEFENSEMAN – NIKLAS GIERS
ALL HEART – DION ANTISIN, AXLE ANDERTON, ETHAN MONTOYA
GOALIE OF THE YEAR – TERRY MARTIN
NEVADA STORM AAA 16U
PLAYERS OF THE YEAR – ZACH MCCLANAHAN, AIDAN MCNABB
BEST DEFENSEMAN – STEVEN AVALONE
ALL HEART – AIDAN MCNABB
GOALIE OF THE YEAR – ANTHONY BONALDI
NEVADA STORM AA 16U
PLAYERS OF THE YEAR – BRADEN LAPLACA, DOMINIC PANZARELLA
BEST DEFENSEMAN – GABRIEL TESTA
ALL HEART – JOEY TERRANA, DANIEL RAMOS
GOALIE OF THE YEAR – LUKE FUNDATOR
NEVADA STORM HIGH SCHOOL TEAM
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – MICHAEL YOCHUM
BEST DEFENSEMAN – CHRIS OTOMO
ALL HEART – SAM REDOBLE
GOALIE OF THE YEAR – SAM KJOS
HOCKEY PERSON OF THE YEAR – ZEE KHAN, GM, UNLV
BEST REFEREES – WALLY LACROIX, ADAM HENDREN
BEST TEAM PHOTOGRAPHER – JOHN BROOKS
BEST HOCKEY WEBSITE – LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER
BEST TEAM PR/SOCIAL – MEGAN EDMUNDS, UNLV
BEST NEW HOCKEY WRITER – MARY CATE ZURFLUH – ‘MIRACLE AT THE ICE ARENA’ – A CHRISTMAS STORY
BEST ARENA – LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER
BEST ARENA SNACK BAR – LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER
BEST ARENA MUSIC – UNLV GAMES
BEST RINK COFFEE – LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER