Springfield defenseman Jack Nickels and Corpus Christi forward Mason Krueger
FRISCO, TEXAS – The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending April 9, 2017. The Bauer Hockey Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2016-17 regular season that honors the top performing players in each of the four NAHL divisions. Only players that are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the Divisional Players of the Week award.
Central Division Star of the Week: Lucas Murray, goaltender, Minot Minotauros
Despite only playing in one game over the weekend, Minot goalie Lucas Murray, 20, made it count as the native of Virginia, Minnesota made 34 saves on Friday night in a 4-1 home win over the Minnesota Wilderness. Murray (6’1/170) finished the 2016-17 regular season with a 20-12-3 record to go along with 2.83 goals against average and a 90.3% save percentage. Murray was selected to and played in the 2017 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament back in February. “Lucas played very well on Friday. We sat several key players and needed to have strong goaltending to have any chance of winning. Lucas played like a veteran and we feel very good about our goaltending going into playoffs,” said Minot head coach Marty Murray.
2nd Star: Colin Raver, F, Aberdeen Wings
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alex Adams, F, Minot Minotauros – Tyler Bossert, F, Aberdeen Wings – Jordan Fralich, D, Bismarck Bobcats – Cam Haugenoe, G, Bismarck Bobcats – Zach Mills, F, Minnesota Wilderness – Mike Zuffante, F, Minnesota Wilderness
East Division Star of the Week: Matt Kidney, forward, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights forward Matt Kidney, 20, had a huge week to end the regular season. The native of Middletown, New Jersey, played in three games this past week and recorded seven points, which included four goals and three assists. On Tuesday, Kidney (5’9/185) had two goals and an assist in an 8-3 win over the Northeast Generals. On Friday, he had an assist in a 5-4 shootout win over New Jersey. On Monday, in the completion of a postponed game, he had two more goals and an assist in an 8-3 win over New Jersey to complete the regular season with 44 points, which led the Knights this season. “Heading into the playoffs you need your top point producers creating offense. Matt did that for us in a big way over the last three games. He’s showing off the skill set that stood out to us in the draft and with him heating up at the right time, we’re a better team for it,” said Knights head coach Tom Kowal.
2nd Star: Vinnie Purpura, G, Johnstown Tomahawks
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Daniil Bokun, D, Johnstown Tomahawks – Reed Robinson, F, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
Midwest Division Star of the Week: Jack Nickels, defenseman, Springfield Jr. Blues
The Springfield Jr. Blues completed their 2016-17 regular season with a weekend home sweep of the Coulee Region Chill. Defenseman Jack Nickels, 20, was able to contribute in both wins with a four-point weekend along with a +3 rating. On Friday, the 6’1/193 lbs. native of Carol Stream, Illinois had a goal and two assists in a 4-2 win. On Saturday, he had an assist in a 4-3 win. For the season, Nickels finished with 24 points in 55 games played, which led all Springfield blueliners. “Jack had his best weekend of the year. He was a two-way threat jumping in ever rush and earned the points to show it,” said Springfield head coach Tony Zasowski.
2nd Star: Jake Acton, G, Minnesota Magicians
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Steven Quagliata, D, Coulee Region Chill – Caleb Schroer, F, Coulee Region Chill – Patrick Smyth, F, Springfield Jr. Blues
South Division Star of the Week: Mason Krueger, forward, Corpus Christi IceRays
Corpus Christi IceRays forward Mason Krueger erupted for seven points in his team’s final regular season series as the IceRays locked up 3rd place in the South with sweep of the Wichita Falls Wildcats. On Friday, the former NAPHL’er and native of Bettendorf, Iowa, had two goals and an assist in a 5-4 win. On Saturday, Krueger (5’11/178), who is also committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Army, had four assists in a 5-1 win. For the season, Krueger led the IceRays with 57 points in 60 games played. “Mason to me is a staple of our culture. He is a hard-working, very good person who has been rewarded with leading our team to a record year and had his best production season in three years and obtained an NCAA Division I scholarship to Army. We are very proud that in his final week of regular season he earned player of the week. After being a captain in Omaha of the NAPHL tendering with us and playing three seasons in the NAHL and now going onto the NCAA, he is a great ambassador for the NAHL umbrella,” said IceRays head coach Brad Flynn.
2nd Star: Jake Rosenbaum, D, Topeka RoadRunners
Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Steven Ipri, F, Amarillo Bulls – Tyler Pietrowski, F, Odessa Jackalopes – Nestor Plarsmo, F, Amarillo Bulls – Brad Power, F, Corpus Christi IceRays – Chase Thudium, F, Odessa Jackalopes – John Wojciechowski, F, Topeka RoadRunners
About the NAHL
The NAHL, the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior league boasting 24 teams from across North America, prides itself on the social maturity and skill development of student-athletes ages 16-20 with aspirations of advancing to collegiate and/or professional hockey. During the 2015-16 season, the NAHL set a new single-season record with 259 NCAA commitments, 67% of which were NCAA Division I commitments. In addition, 12 NAHL players were listed on NHL Central Scoutings Players to Watch list for the 2017 NHL Draft and five NAHL players that played in the league this past season were selected in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. For more information, visit www.nahl.com.