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Jason Zucker of Las Vegas in action for NHL Minnesota Wild

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JASON ZUCKER PLAYER FOR THE YEAR FOR 11TH STRAIGHT TIME

==========2017 VEGAS HOCKEY AWARDS==========

By Lee Samuels

The dynamic Jason Zucker, the first and only Las Vegas player in the NHL is the Vegas Hockey Player of the Year for the 11th straight time.

Jason, 25,  is a top line skater for the NHL Minnesota Wild.

He grew up in Las Vegas and went to his first arena in town when he was 3 1/2 years old. His father Scott took him to meet Larry Sanford, the 7-time Vegas Hockey Roller Coach of the Year, at his Crystal Palace roller rink. Jason brought his own hockey stick that day.

Few know that Jason, like many of the star players in his era and earlier in Las Vegas, initially began to play roller hockey before moving over to ice hockey.

Jason’s last Las Vegas ice hockey coach was Wally Lacroix on an AAA Nevada Storm 16u team at the Las Vegas Ice Center. Jason was 14 1/2. When team practiced penalty shots Wally told the other players to fire off a shot in either corner, low, or high left or right corner. When it was Jason’s time to shoot Wally told him “….whatever you figure out Jason what works best to score is fine with me.” That’s how great Jason was at the time.

Jason said “It is an honor to be recognized as the Las Vegas Player of the Year. I appreciate the nomination and support from Vegas hockey fans. I am very proud to be from Las Vegas and be a part of the community they have.”


Anthony Greener, one of the greatest players ever for UNLV, is the 2017 Vegas Hockey Coach of the Year. He and his staff spectacularly helped transition the Rebels from an ACHA D2 team to a ACHA D1 level club. The Rebels, with a bigger, stronger roster of players, this season beat #1 ranked Minot State and are presently ranked #10 in the nation while playing before sellout crowds at the City National Arena.

“It’s an honor to be Coach of the Year. It’s not just me but my entire staff which makes this team continue to get better each day. We have an amazing group of players who put in the work and buy into our system day in and day out. I have taken a lot from my coaching cousins who I played for and then added my twist to everything. It really is a love and passion for the game and it is an honor to go to the rink to teach and learn the game every day.”

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Zee Khan of UNLV was voted the Best GM of the Year.

“My main responsibilities include recruiting, scheduling, player development along with Anthony Greener, Nick Robone and now Jeff May. Together we have all of the same goal of continued growth and success for the program. My hockey background and relationships built along the way with top junior level coaches helped our recruiting process as we have been able to bring in top players from the best leagues to play for us in Las Vegas. It is our goal to continue to grow our program and be a model ACHA D1 program as well as a good example for the youth players here in Las Vegas by providing a top notch opportunity.”

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Rob Pallin of HC TWK Innsbruck was voted Best International Coach

“The biggest challenge is to getting all of the players to be the best teammates possible. For me it’s team first. We have 3 Czechs, 1 from Denmark, 4 Americans, 5 Canadians, 8 Austrians, and getting all of these players thinking the guy sitting next to him is more important than yourself. I love the challenge of taking struggling clubs and making them winners. Innsbruck never made the playoffs in 11 years before I arrived here. It’s not the helmet or the jersey – it is who puts on the helmet and jersey. We have great character and skill.”

MAJOR AWARDS

LAS VEGAS HOCKEY PERSON OF THE YEAR – NICK ROBONE, UNLV

BEST INTERNATIONAL PLAYER – BRYCE REDDICK, CARDIFF DEVILS

BEST ROLLER PLAYER – CODY PRINTZEN, TEAM USA

BEST GIRLS PLAYER – ASH PRINTZEN, AAA DETROIT BELLE TIRE 16U

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UNLV PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

BEST PLAYER – JOSEPH KASZUPSKI

BEST DEFENSE – JONAS GORDON, JAKE KEARLEY

ALL HEART – CODY WILLIAMS

BEST GOALIE – BEN GIESBRECHT

AHL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

GAGE QUINNEY, AHL WILKES-BARRE SCRANTON PENGUINS

CORY WARD, AHL ONTARIO REIGN

ECHL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

CAPTAIN CHRIS FRANCIS, ECHL QUAD CITY MALLARDS

ZACH POCHIRO, ECHL ALLEN AMERICANS

DEREK SUTLIFFE, ECHL GREENVILLE SWAMP RABBITS

NCAA PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

MIKE MCNICHOLAS, NEW HAMPSHIRE UNVERSITY

JOEY RAATS, ARIZONA STATE

CAPTAIN JOE SULLIVAN, ST. LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY

QUEBEC MAJOR JUNIOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR

LANDON QUINNEY, QMJHL SAINT JOHN SEADOGS

NA3HL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

VITO CARLO, NA3HL ATLANTA CAPITALS

USPHL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

MICHAEL CICHY, USPHL WISCONSIN MUSKIES

WSHL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

JAKE MCKENNA, WSHL VALENCIA FLYERS

GABRIEL TESTA, WSHL FRESNO MONSTERS

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VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS AWARDS

BEST COACH – WALLY LACROIX, VEGAS JR KNIGHTS BANTAM TEAM

VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS HIGH SCHOOL TEAM

BEST PLAYER – MIKE YOCHUM

BEST DEFENSEMAN – DANIEL RAMOS

AA VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS 16U TEAM

BEST PLAYER – HUNTER BARTO

VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS BANTAM TEAM

BEST PLAYER – AJ LACKAS

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LAS VEGAS PLAYERS AWAY FROM HOME

BEST GM

JIMMY SAMUELS, GM, KANSAS UNIVERSITY ACHA D3

AAA 18U

BEST PLAYER – AIDAN MCNABB, AAA SO-CAL TITANS

BEST DEFENSEMAN – STEVEN AVALONE, AAA ARIZONA BOBCATS

AAA 16U

BEST PLAYER – ERIC ATCHISON, AAA ARIZONA BOBCATS

BEST DEFENSEMAN – JERRETT OVERLAND, AAA ANAHEIM DUCKS

BEST GOALIE – ANTHONY BONALDI, AAA ARIZONA BOBCATS

AAA 15U

BEST GOALIE – LUKE FUNDATOR, AAA ARIZONA BOBOCATS

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LAS VEGAS AWARDS

BEST ATHLETIC TRAINER – KENDALL GALOR, UNLV

BEST TEAM SOCIAL – UNLV

BEST TEAM PR – MEGAN EDMUNDS, UNLV

BEST ARENA – CITY NATIONAL ARENA

BEST ARENA MUSIC – UNLV GAMES AT CITY NATIONAL ARENA

BEST REFEREE – TODD OWEN

BEST HOCKEY ARTIST – GUNNAR ROKSVOLD – CREATOR OF JOHNNIE GOLD IN OUR ANNUAL CHRISTMAS STORY ON VEGASHOCKEY.NET

BEST RINK SNACK BAR – LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER

BEST HOCKEY WEBSITE – LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER

BEST RINK COFFEE – LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER

BEST LAS VEGAS SUMMER SHOWCASE – ROY HENDERSON’S LAS VEGAS GLOBAL AT LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER