NAHL announces monthly player awards for October
Brock James (Lone Star), Conner Brown (Janesville), and Kael DePape (El Paso) earn recognition in October
DALLAS, TEXAS – The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced its monthly player awards for the month of October. The Forward of the Month is Brock James from the Lone Star Brahmas. The Defenseman of the Month is Conner Brown from the Janesville Jets. The Goaltender of the Month is Kael DePape from the El Paso Rhinos. Only players who are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the NAHL monthly awards.
Bauer Hockey NAHL Forward of the Month: Brock James, Lone Star Brahmas
Lone Star forward Brock James, 19, had an impressive month of October as he helped his club move into 1st place in the South Division. The 6’0/170 lbs. native of Falmouth, ME, appeared in 8 games during the month and totaled 14 points (5 goals, 9 assists). The University of Maine commit recorded at least a point in all but one game and three multi-point games to go along with a +8 rating. For the season, James currently leads the Brahmas in scoring with 17 points in 12 games played. “Brock has shown he is among the elite players in the league. He plays in all scenarios for us, and he creates chances by work ethic. We love how he is playing right now. He plays with a non-stop motor and doesn’t quit, and as a result, he is rewarded for second and third efforts,” said Brahmas head coach Dan Wildfong.
“I think the key to success in Lone Star has been a combination of great teammates and coaches. We have a hard-working group which encourages you to work for the guy next to you. We talk all the time about playing for the boys to your left and right in the locker room so knowing these guys have your back and are playing for each other motivates you to want to win. Coach Wildfong and coach Murphy have helped put me in the position to succeed by surrounding me with great players and great systems which have allowed me to play with confidence,” said James. “I think we have a team that can contend for the Robertson Cup. I think for everyone that’s a part of our team, that’s our goal this season and we have high hopes. I’m looking forward to and excited to be playing for the University of Maine Black Bears in my home state following my time in the NAHL.”
Runner-Up: Drew Sutton, Oklahoma Warriors
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Zach Aben, Johnstown Tomahawks – Julian Beaumont, Bismarck Bobcats – Leonid Bulgakov, Aberdeen Wings – Ryan Burke, Shreveport Mudbugs – Dylan Contreras, Kenai River Brown Bears – Ashton Dahms, Minnesota Wilderness – Sixten Jennersjo, Northeast Generals – Ryan Johnson, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Michael Kadlecik, Odessa Jackalopes – Dimitry Kebreau, Maryland Black Bears – Isaac Keller, Springfield Jr. Blues – Haden Kruse, Janesville Jets – Max Martin, Wisconsin Windigo – Connor McNaughton, Amarillo Wranglers – Nikitia Meshcheryakov, New Jersey Titans – Peyton Platter, Chippewa Steel – Kyle Rohrer, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Nick Romeo, Maine Nordiques – Austin Salani, Austin Bruins – Kris Samitis, Philadelphia Rebels – Kade Shea, Anchorage Wolverines – Frank Tafelski, El Paso Rhinos – Jack Wuertz, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks
Bauer Hockey NAHL Defenseman of the Month: Conner Brown, Janesville Jets
Jets veteran defenseman Conner Brown, 19, was solid along the blueline in October. The 6’0/185 lbs. native of Maplewood, MN, appeared in seven games during the month of October and led all NAHL defensemen with 10 points (1 goal, 9 assists). That included recorded at least a point in five of the seven games during the month and two multi-point games. For the season, Brown currently leads the NAHL in scoring for all defensemen with 20 points in 16 games played. “Conner is having a great start to the season for us. He put a lot of work in this off season to be prepared to play at the highest level possible. He is a player we expected to lean on this season on special teams and offensive production. He has an elite offensive mind and skill set that goes with it. He is establishing himself as one of the top power play defensemen in our league and I think he going to continue to grow in all aspects of his game,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble.
“Learning how to be a pro off the ice has been a huge saying for me this year. I learned a lot from my Dad who just always kept reminding me to put those words in the back of my head… “Be A Pro”. With it being my last year to earn an NCAA Division I commitment, being able to dial it in more at the rink has been a lot easier for me this year knowing I have one more shot to make it and that I can’t waste this last opportunity,” said Brown. “I hope to earn a commitment in the near future and I also think it would be nice to lead the league in scoring for defensemen, but ultimately my goal is to help the Jets win the Robertson Cup.”
Runner-Up: Nick Bernardo, Maine Nordiques
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Antii Autere, Lone Star Brahmas – David Clarke, Fairbanks Ice Dogs – Luke deVries, Philadelphia Rebels – Leo Esperjesi, Wisconsin Windigo – Aiden Farro, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks – Nolan Gagnon, Amarillo Wranglers – Logan Heroux, Shreveport Mudbugs – Jakub Jerman, El Paso Rhinos – Lukas Klemm, Johnstown Tomahawks – Dillon Kuntz, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Scott Miner, Chippewa Steel – Trevor Mitchell, Odessa Jackalopes – Blake Norris, Kenai River Brown Bears – Gustavs Ozolins, Minnesota Wilderness – Jake Peterson, Springfield Jr. Blues – Matthew Rafalski, Bismarck Bobcats – Zach Reim, Aberdeen Wings – Nathan Rickey, Oklahoma Warriors – Evan Sofikitis, Maryland Black Bears – Jackson Stimple, Anchorage Wolverines
True Hockey NAHL Goaltender of the Month: Kael DePape, El Paso Rhinos
El Paso Rhinos goalie Kael DePape, 20, was stellar in the month of October as the Rhinos continued to hover towards the top of the South Division standings. The 6’0/168 lbs. native of Yorkton, SK, appeared in six games during the month of October and recorded a 4-1-1 record. In those six games, DePape allowed just six goals in regulation, stopping 146 of a possible 152 shots, which was good for a 0.96 goals against average and a .960 save percentage. DePape also posted two shutouts during the month. “Kael has had an immediate impact since he arrived in El Paso. He is an unbelievable teammate and an even better goalie. He is an NCAA Division I goalie in my opinion and some school is going to get a dandy,” said El Paso head coach Joe Coombs.
“Winning this monthly award is a big honor as there are so many great goalies out there. My transition to El Paso has been seamless. The team and fans have welcomed me with open arms. The coaches have shown confidence in me and gave me a chance to play right from the start. The team is playing great in front of me so I’m just trying to stay in the moment and enjoy every day and continue to be a calm presence back there for them,” said DePape. “Most importantly, I hope the team will have continued success and will have a run at the Robertson Cup. If we focus on one week of good hockey at a time, we will find that success. After this season I hope to continue my hockey career with the goal of playing NCAA Division I college hockey. I have been working towards this goal for three years in junior hockey and I feel that I am ready to make the jump to the college ranks.”
Runner-Up: Trent Wiemken, Austin Bruins
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Matthew Alberti, Janesville Jets – Liam Beerman, Anchorage Wolverines – JJ Cataldo, Springfield Jr. Blues – Daniel Duris, Oklahoma Warriors – Adam Dybal, Aberdeen Wings – Nick Erickson, Minnesota Wilderness – Dylan Krick, New Jersey Titans – Connor McDonough, Amarillo Wranglers – Stephen Peck, Bismarck Bobcats – Miles Roberts, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks – Deivs Rolovs, Lone Star Brahmas – Colin Ronan, Maryland Black Bears – Eliot Seguin-Escarbeau, Shreveport Mudbugs – Andy Vlaha, New Mexico Ice Wolves – Ajay White, Chippewa Steel