Image result for photo of jason zucker nhl minnesota wildJason Zucker (16) grew up in Las Vegas and played in youth ice hockey at the Las Vegas Ice Center and was a star roller hockey player here in town as well. Jason is now a star player for the NHL Minnesota Wild. Jason has been voted the Vegas Hockey Player of the Year for a record 13th straight time. Jason Zucker’s banner hangs proudly at two ice rinks in town – the Las Vegas Ice Center and at the SoBe Ice Center. Don’t worry – Jason skated out of this tough situation he was dealing with in a NHL game.

2019 VEGAS HOCKEY AWARDS

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JASON ZUCKER PLAYER OF THE YEAR 13TH STRAIGHT TIME;

WALLY LACROIX, POKEY REDDICK COACHES OF THE YEAR

UNLV’S ZEE KHAN BEST GM; REBELS HAVE BEST PR/SOCIAL

THE AMAZING TRISTAN NELSON LAS VEGAS HOCKEY PERSON OF THE YEAR

JENNIFER LENER BEST HOCKEY MOM FOR AA VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 16U

By Lee Samuels

Our Vegas Hockey readers have made their choices and for the 13th straight time Jason Zucker, who grew up playing ice hockey and roller hockey here in town – and is a star player for the NHL Minnesota Wild – is the Vegas Hockey Player of the Year.

Jason last played in Las Vegas when he was on an AAA Las Vegas Storm 18u team coached by Wally Lacroix at the Las Vegas Ice Center.

Jason has been a goal scoring force on every level he has played.

“Wally Lacroix was Jason’s last hockey coach in Las Vegas,” said famous hockey dad Scott Zucker. “Before Jason was drafted years ago coach Las Vegas coach Rob Pallin worked with Jason in Las Vegas. Jason and Adam Naglich did conditioning skates together.”

Jason from Minnesota said “It is a honor to be named the Vegas Player of the Year. I take a lot of pride being from Las Vegas and trying to grow the game within the area. Thank you Lee Samuels and the Vegas fans for their continued support.”

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Our readers voted for Wally LaCroix, head coach of the AA Vegas Jr Golden Knights 16u  – defending USA National Champions – and the legend Pokey Reddick who is coach of Faith Lutheran High School hockey as the 2019 Vegas Hockey Coaches of the Year.

Lacroix is a coach of an AA Vegas Jr Golden Knights 16u which has again been playing at a high level all season. The team practices and plays home games at the SoBe Ice Arena on North Rancho Drive.

Lacroix said “We cannot take all of the credit for such a honor – none of this is possible without assistant coach Todd Owen. He reluctantly keeps me in line and on time and let’s not forget the great work Todd does with our defensive core.

“Our team manager Miss Jen makes sure everything is thought of for our events. My brain never stops thinking hockey to a fault but we are surrounded among great people and they all keep me grounded.

“Last but never forgotten is that none of this is possible without the dedication of our young men. We might teach the system or structure but they completely get all of the credit for making it happen,” Lacroix said. “We would also like to thank Bo Lackas, Rick Berringer and Eric Lacroix who all coached our young men earlier in their young careers.”

Pokey Reddick launched a hockey program at Faith Lutheran High School a season ago which not only played at a high level but he helped schedule big strong High School teams to come in resulting in stunning sold out crowds at City National Arena. The large crowds were a staggeringly great development for high school hockey which is big in the LA area but not in this territory until now.

This is the second straight season Zee Khan of the UNLV Rebels has been voted Best GM of the Year.

Zee said “it is a honor to be recognized by the Las Vegas Hockey Community for all of our efforts throughout the year, not only our brand, but the game of hockey.

“It has always been our goal to expose more kids to the sport and also to give high level players from all parts of the world continuing playing hockey at the highest level. Between myself, Nick Robone and Anthony Greener, we set our goals high.

“Transitioning from a D2 program, and becoming a perennial power D1 program required a lot of sacrifices from all of our staff and a full commitment from the players we bring in each year – understanding that in each year we want to continue to lay the foundation for the future of this organization.

Zee added “….We put our players in a position to take advantage of a great opportunity, playing at City National Arena in front of sold out crowds. With that, we want our players to take pride in our community and being involved in events such as our ‘Holiday Skate’ where our players and staff can meet our supporters and to give back some of the time to those who continue to support our program. 

“We are extremely grateful for our loyal supporters.”

The biggest hockey story this season is Tristan Nelson, a star defenseman for the AA Vegas Jr Golden Knights 16u, who has arranged fund-raising functions to help the homeless in greater Las Vegas. Tristan has a genuine concern to help those in need. Tristan was voted as the Las Vegas Hockey Person of the Year – a major award.

“Helping others first started when we joined the Boy Scouts,” said Tristan. “We helped others at that time and it is the right thing to do right now while with our team. No one likes to live without shelter in very cold weather during the wintertime. Our team raised monies to help provide blankets, gloves, hats and whatever else that was needed. It’s just the right thing to always do – always help others.”

Hockey Mom of the Year Jennifer Lener’s son William Jacob plays on the Wally Lacroix-coached AA Vegas Jr Golden Knights 16u. “This is my third season with Wally and Todd (Owen, assistant coach) and we really work well together,” said Jennifer. “I’ve met a lot of team managers and we chat and set up scrimmages together. We also deal with tournament directors and submit our roster and enter each of player’s information – position, player numbers, pictures – into their systems for each tournament. We have big events too like arranging the team Christmas party and of course the end of the season party. It’s all been a joy to do.”

For the second straight year ‘For the Love of Hockey’ Bethany Drysdale was voted Best Writer on Vegas Hockey. Her long, detailed, interesting profiles of Vegas hockey stars including Gage Quinney and Derek Sutliffe are the all-time most read stories here on Vegas Hockey.

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2019 VEGAS HOCKEY AWARDS

PLAYER OF THE YEAR – JASON ZUCKER, NHL MINNNESOTA WILD

BEST COACHES – WALLY LACROIX, AA VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS 16U AND POKEY REDDICK, FAITH LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL

VEGAS HOCKEY PERSON OF THE YEAR – TRISTAN NELSON, VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS 16U

BEST INTERNATIONAL COACH – ROB PALLIN, HC TWK INNSBRUCK AUSTRIA

BEST EXEC – ZEE KHAN, GM, UNLV REBELS

BEST TEAM PR AND SOCIAL – UNLV REBELS

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BEST UNLV REBELS

BEST HEAD COACH – ANTHONY GREENER

BEST ASSISTANT COACH – NICK ROBONE

BEST FORWARD – KIRK UNDERWOOD

BEST DEFENSEMAN – ERIC WILLIAMS

ALL HEART – TRISTAN MAYER

BEST GOALIE – ERIK EIDISSEN

 

BEST AHL PLAYER

GAGE QUINNEY, CHICAGO WOLVES

 

BEST INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS

ZACH POCHIRO, ESBERG ENERGY, DENMARK

BRYCE REDDICK, CARDIFF DEVILS

CHRIS FRANCIS, SAALE BULLS HALLE, GERMANY3

JOEY RAATS, GAP, FRANCE

CODY WILLIAMS, EVRY-VIRY FRANCE3

 

BEST WHL PLAYER

ERIK ATCHISON, SPOKANE CHIEFS

 

BEST ECHL PLAYERS 

MICHAEL MCNICHOLAS, MAINE MARINERS

JOE SULLIVAN, INDY FUEL

CORY WARD, TULSA OILERS

 

BEST PLAYER – SOUTHERN PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

DEREK SUTLIFFE, EVANSVILLE THUNDERBOLTS

 

BEST NCAA PLAYERS

DOM GARCIA, NCAA ARIZONA STATE

BRENDEN HARRIS, NCAA BEMIDJI STATE

 

BEST BCHL PLAYER

JERRETT OVERLAND, WENATCHEE WILD

 

BEST WSHL LAS VEGAS THUNDERBIRDS

BEST COACH – DAVE HRYSKY

BEST PLAYER – EMIL SVARTBRO

BEST PLAYER – TOMAS URBANEC

BEST PLAYER – ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ, CAPTAIN

BEST DEFENSEMAN – CHRISTOFFER JUVAS

BEST GOALIE – RHETT BRUCKNER

 

BEST WSHL

CALEB DAY, COLD LAKE HORNETS

 

BEST IN CANADA

STEVEN AVALONE, KINDERSLY KLIPPERS

 

BEST NA3HL PLAYERS

BRENDEN FEHLIG, COULEE REGION CHILL

LUKE FUNDATOR, SHERIDAN HAWKS

GUNNER MOORE, ATLANTA CAPITALS

DANIEL RAMOS, GILLETTE WILD – WYOMING

 

BEST GMHL

GABRIEL TESTA, SOUTH MUSKOKA SHIELD

 

BEST WSHL LAS STORM ALUM STILL ACTIVE

VINCENT DEKUMBIS, NCAA LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY

 

BEST ACHA D1

MICHAEL YOCHUM, CANISIUS GOLDEN GRIFFINS

 

BEST ACHA D2

MATT JOHNSON, BOISE STATE

DYLAN MILLER, LINDENWOOD

SPENCER POSCENTE, EASTERN MICHIGAN

 

BEST VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS HIGH SCHOOL TEAM

BEST COACH – DARYL WADEMAN

BEST PLAYER – BRETT HARPLING

BEST GIRLS PLAYER – ZOE ZAMORA

BEST HOCKEY MOM – HEATHER CHAVEZ

 

BEST LAS VEGAS ROLLER PLAYERS

MATT ABRAHAM

KRIS CARTER

DARION CONAWAY

IAN DAVIS

RYLAND JOHNSON

ASH PRINTZEN

NICK ROBONE

AUSTIN SHANNON

NATE VALDEZ

 

BEST ROLLER GOALIES

MORGAN MARINELLO

ZACH BERNSTEIN

 

BEST ROLLER COACH

ADAM TAMURA

 

BEST GIRLS PLAYERS

ASH PRINTZEN, AAA MEIJER WESTERN MICHIGAN 19U

GIA AVALONE, AAA ANAHEIM JR DUCKS 16U

ZOE ZAMORA, VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS HIGH SCHOOL TEAM

 

BEST LAS VEGAS HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS

JACK EDLIN, FAITH LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL

HUNTER KEECH, FAITH LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL

BRETT HARPLING, VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS HIGH SCHOOL

DOMINIC SUHR, FAITH LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL

TRISTAN TOTH, VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS HIGH SCHOOL

EAN VITZ, VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS HIGH SCHOOL 

ANDRE THORNTON, FAITH LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL

 

BEST AAA LAS VEGAS PLAYERS

MATTHEW GROSS, AAA PHOENIX JR COYOTES 16U

AJ LACKAS, AAA COLORADO THUNDERBIRDS 16U

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DEXTER KICHLINE, AAA LA JR KINGS 14U

AUSTINE MOLINE, AAA LA JR KINGS 14U

COLE WEST, AAA LA JR KINGS 14U

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TYLER FUZZY ATCHISON, AAA ARIZONA BOBCATS 13U

JACK LACKAS, AAA ARIZONA BOBCATS 13U

CHAYSE LAURIE, AAA ARIZONA BOBCATS 13U

LOGAN PEREZ, AAA ARIZONA BOBCATS 13U

 

AA VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS 16U AWARDS

BEST COACH – WALLY LACROIX

BEST ASSISTANT COACH IN VEGAS – TODD OWEN

BEST PLAYERS –  HEATH MENSCH, IAN WILLIAMS

BEST DEFENSEMEN – TRISTAN NELSON, JOHN PURDY, CADEN BERNINGER

ALL HEART – MATTHEW LACKAS

VEGAS HOCKEY PERSON OF THE YEAR – TRISTAN NELSON

BEST GOALIES – ZACKARY ORTOLANO, COLTON MILLER 

 

BEST USPHL

HUNTER BARTO, MINNESOTA MOOSE

AIDAN MCNABB, CAROLINA JR HURRICANES

 

AA VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS BANTAMS 14U

BEST COACH – FRANK SALCIDO

BEST FORWARD – KEEGAN MORSE

BEST DEFENSEMAN – CONNOR BEERS

ALL HEART – ANDREW CRAWFORD

GOALIE – JONNY NG

 

AA VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS PEE WEE 12U

BEST COACH – CLAYTON STONER

BEST PLAYER – CHASE NEHRING

BEST PLAYER – FINN MCNABB

 

BEST VEGAS YOUTH HOCKEY COACH – MATT JOHNSON

 

BEST LAS VEGAS REFEREE

RYAN TOWNSEND

 

BEST MEN’S LEAGUE ICE HOCKEY PLAYER

GOALIE RYAN SUTLIFFE

 

BEST HOCKEY MOM

JENNIFER LENER, AA VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS 16U

 

BEST SUMMERTIME HOCKEY SHOWCASE

ROY HENDERSON’S GLOBAL SHOWCASE AT LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER – WINNER MULTIPLE TIMES – HAS HELPED AN AWESOME NUMBER OF PLAYERS LAND SPOTS ON JUNIOR LEVEL AND COLLEGE TEAMS

 

BEST HOCKEY WEBSITE

LAS VEGAS ICE CENTER – WINNER MULTIPLE TIMES – WELL DESIGNED, EASY TO NAVIGATE, TIMELY, UPDATED CONSTANTLY

 

BEST RINK COFFEE

CITY NATIONAL ARENA – FIRST TIME WINNER

 

BEST VEGAS HOCKEY WRITER

BETHANY DRYSDALE, VEGAS HOCKEY – WINNER 2ND STRAIGHT TIME