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USA Hockey Announces 2018 Award Winners

By USAHockey.com, 05/22/18, 11:00AM MDT

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Awards to be Presented During 2018 Annual Congress, June 6-9 in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey will host its 2018 Annual Congress June 6-9 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The four-day event provides USA Hockey’s various councils, sections and committees the opportunity to conduct the business of the national governing body and celebrate notable accomplishments.

USA Hockey will honor its service award recipients and various other players of the year on June 6 at its annual Night of Tribute Awards Dinner, while the other top awards will be presented during the President’s Awards Dinner on June 8.

Wednesday’s award recipients include Excellence in Safety Award winners Jaime Campbell (Vacaville, Calif.) and Steve Laing (Long Beach, Calif.); Adult Player of the Year Kevin Barnas (Manistique, Mich.); Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year Maddie Rooney (Andover, Minn.); Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year Jack Hughes (Orlando, Fla.); Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year Zach Driscoll (Apple Valley, Minn.); College Player of the Year Adam Gaudette (Braintree, Mass.); and Disabled Athlete of the Year Mike Barnhart (Hagerstown, Md.).

Honorees for the President’s Awards Dinner on June 8 include Chet Stewart Award winner Dick Haney (Duluth, Minn.); Adult Member of the Year Kevin Universal (Raleigh, N.C.); Walter Yaciuk Award recipient Larry Bruyere (Norwood, N.Y.); Bob Johnson Award winners Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (Grand Forks, N.D.), Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.), and Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y.); Distinguished Achievement Award recipient Dean Blais (International Falls, Minn.); and Wm. Thayer Tutt Award winner Fred Hudson (Huntsville, Ala.). Brian Fishman Intern Laurel Young (Petoskey, Mich.) and Brendan Burke Intern Matt Williams (Rochester, Mich.) will also be recognized. In addition, the celebration will include tributes to Willie O’Ree (Fredericton, New Brunswick) on the 60th anniversary of his breaking the NHL’s color barrier, and to the gold medal-winning 2018 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey and U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Teams.

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Excellence in Safety - Jaime Campbell

Jaime Campbell is the player safety and concussion representative for USA Hockey’s Pacific District. Campbell is also a seven-year director for the California Amateur Hockey Association, serving as director of member services, administrator of the background and screening compliance program, and has been the SafeSport coordinator for both northern and southern California.

Campbell has created and implemented numerous pilot programs during her time in youth hockey. One of her most notable accomplishments to date was the development and implementation of the California concussion protocol that has now expanded throughout the Pacific District.

As a founding member of the CAHA concussion awareness and prevention committee, Campbell was instrumental in the research, development and implementation of the program and its continued growth and expansion. She spent many years studying the effectiveness of grassroots concussion education programs and has access to world-renowned experts to collaborate with on ensuring that the protocol is relevant and effective.

The program is merely one component of the Pacific District’s commitment to player safety. In 2017, the concept of piloting the role of player safety and concussion awareness was introduced to the district leadership. With this pilot program, Campbell was tasked with taking USA Hockey’s player safety goals, initiatives and resources and developing the distribution channels and methods to implement these priorities at the district, affiliate and organization level.

As one of the first SafeSport coordinators in service since the program’s inception, Campbell is a veteran in management, protocol and training surrounding player safety issues that occur both on and off the ice.

Outside of her hockey volunteer duties, Campbell works as the chief administration officer for the University of California Office of the President. Previously, she had a long career in hospital administration, including operations, public affairs, marketing and communications. Campbell holds an MBA in Organizational Management and is married with two hockey players of her own; one in high school and one in college.

The Excellence in Safety Award, sponsored by K&K, recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to make hockey a safer game for all participants.

 

Excellence in Safety - Steve Laing

Currently a director with USA Hockey’s Pacific District, Steve Laing is also involved with USA Hockey’s Legal Council, SafeSport, High School Section, and Youth National Tournaments.

Laing previously served as president of the California Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) from 2009-2016, leading one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing affiliates. With more than 27,000 members, he was instrumental in the establishment of the first state-wide concussion awareness program, in which he helped formed with board members and medical doctors. In addition to this groundbreaking effort, Laing also played a key role in the implementation of the elimination of body-checking in the 12U youth classification and the head contact rule. He was also involved in the 2012 Goodwill Exchange with the U.S. Department of Physical Education. Passionate about both player development and the athlete experience, Laing was able to create a player safety position within the Pacific District to develop and oversee the establishment and implementation of programs such as the now district-wide concussion protocol.

Over the years, Laing has become a seasoned sports official at the local, state and national levels. Currently an NHL off-ice official, Laing worked with the Anaheim Ducks during the 2003 and 2007 Stanley Cup Finals. A certified soccer referee, Laing has officiated at the NCAA Division l, ll and lll levels, the USSF Premier League, CIF Varsity, and two international friendlies.

Laing’s growth into volunteer leadership positions in youth sports ran parallel with his 40-year career in law enforcement, making him a trusted advisor in USA Hockey’s SafeSport program. Laing began his criminal justice education at the University of Southern California and received a bachelor’s degree from Union Institute and University. Laing is married with two adult children and has four grandchildren.

The Excellence in Safety Award, sponsored by K&K, recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to make hockey a safer game for all participants.

Adult Player of the Year - Kevin Barnas

Kevin Barnas and the Cavemen have played in every USA Hockey-sanctioned adult tournament in Lansing and Kalamazoo since 2007, earning seven titles and a growing fan base in their home state of Michigan.

Barnas, a Manistique, Michigan, native, picked up the game at age 31, the same time his kids became active in youth hockey. Barnas volunteered as a coach and, in doing so, forged a path as both a student and a teacher of the game. Realizing the responsibility that he had as a coach to mold young players, he took advantage of every resource at his fingertips, including training materials provided by USA Hockey.

As a coach, Barnas began skating multiple times a week and training with his fellow coaches, a group that would ultimately become the Cavemen. Barnas, the captain of the Cavemen, organizes the practice and scrimmage schedule, the tournament entries, the travel arrangements and more. His dedication and leadership have helped keep the Cavemen together all this time.

Since the first tournament that Barnas’ team entered 11 years ago, the Cavemen have seen much success, winning in Kalamazoo in 2014 (Bronze 21 Division), 2015 (Bronze 21), 2016 (Novice 21) and 2017 (Novice 21), plus another in Lansing in 2012 (Novice). They also won tournaments in Las Vegas (Bronze 21) and Brighton, Michigan (Bronze 30), both in 2016. Things came full circle in 2015, when Barnas played in his very first tournament with his son and his brother as teammates – perhaps the most memorable moment yet in his hockey career.

To Barnas, adult hockey is a culture and a way of life. The Cavemen are just as close on the ice as they are off the ice. With each weekend competition comes the opportunity to enjoy the experience with family and friends, and to Barnas, that’s what it’s all about.

The Adult Player of the Year Award, presented by Labatt Blue, is presented annually to an individual who performed exceptionally during the past year as a member of a U.S. adult hockey team or as a participant at an adult hockey event in the United States.

Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year - Maddie Rooney

The 2017-18 season was especially sweet for Maddie Rooney, who backstopped the U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team to a gold medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and a first-place finish at the 2017 Four Nations Cup.

During the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, the 20-year-old posted a stingy 1.16 goals-against average to lead all tournament goaltenders and a .945 save percentage that ranked second. She played in four of the five U.S. games, recording 260 minutes of ice time and allowing only five goals. Saving her best for last, Rooney blanked Finland in the semifinals, 5-0, stopping all 14 shots, and then stymied Canada in a captivating overtime shootout to help Team USA earn its second Olympic gold medal in women’s ice hockey.

At the 2017 Four Nations Cup, Rooney recorded 49 saves and a .907 save percentage, notching three wins in three games, including the championship game against Canada. Rooney also stopped 23 of 25 shots in a 5-2 victory against Canada in an Olympic preparation game in Quebec City on Oct. 22, 2017.

Having already played an integral role in the success of the U.S. Women’s National Team, including helpintg Team USA to gold at the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship, Rooney will return this fall to the University of Minnesota Duluth for her junior season with the Bulldogs after taking her Olympic sabbatical to train with Team USA.

A native of Andover, Minnesota, Rooney is the daughter of Mike and Jayne Rooney and has one half-brother, Brian.

The Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year Award is bestowed annually on a top U.S. women’s hockey player at the international, collegiate, high school or club level.

Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year - Jack Hughes

USA Hockey National Team Development Program forward Jack Hughes led the United States Hockey League with a two points-per-game scoring average and .78 goals per game (21G) in 27 regular-season games. He also lead all USHL rookies in points during the regular season with 54, plus-minus (plus-26), and tied for lead in game-winning goals with five.

Hughes was called up to the Under-18 Team in December following an impressive term with the Under-17 Team. In response to his rapid success, Hughes was named USHL Forward of the Week twice (on Jan. 22 and March 12). His season was highlighted by a four-game scoring streak that spanned from March 10-16, during which he notched eight goals and four assists.

He helped lead Team USA to its best-ever finish in USHL regular-season play, with 83 points and a record of 41-18-0-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL) to earn the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The U.S. scored 295 goals, the most by a USHL team since the 1994-1995 season.

On the international stage, Hughes led Team USA to a first-place finish at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, topping all tournament scorers in points (15) and assists (10).

Hughes is slated to be a top prospect eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft following his next year at the NTDP.

A native of Orlando, Florida, he is the son of former hockey players Jim and Ellen Hughes, and has two hockey-playing brothers, Quinn at the University of Michigan, and Luke, who plays for Little Caesars.

The Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year Award is presented annually to an exceptional U.S. citizen playing junior hockey in the United States.

Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year - Zach Driscoll

Omaha Lancers netminder Zach Driscoll led the USHL in shutouts this season with eight, ranked second in save percentage with a .934 mark and third in goals-against average at 1.90. His eight shutouts in a single season were the third most in Lancers history.

Among the highlights of Driscoll's season were back-to-back shutouts on April 4 and 7. On April 4, Driscoll turned aside all 30 of Tri-City Storm shots en route to a 3-0 win. Two days later, he stopped 25 shots from the Des Moines Buccaneers to secure a 2-0 victory.

In addition, he also helped the Lancers secure a first-round bye in the Clark Cup playoffs with a 3-2 victory over Sioux City on April 14, 2018.

Driscoll earned USHL Goaltender-of-the-Week recognition on four different occasions, including Nov. 13, Jan. 8, Jan. 29 and April 9. The Minnesota native ended the regular season with a 23-9-1-1 record and was named to the USHL Second All-Star Team.

Driscoll has also played for St. Cloud State University, the Penticton Vees (BCHL), Austin Bruins (NAHL) and Eastview High (USHS) in addition to his time in the USHL. He was originally selected by the Lancers in the fourth round (52nd overall) of the 2013 USHL Phase I Draft.

In December 2017, Driscoll committed to Bemidji State University for the 2018-19 season.

The 21-year-old grew up in Apple Valley, Minnesota. He is the son of Kim and Dave Driscoll, and has one sister, Courtney.

The Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year Award, presented by Bauer, is given annually to a top U.S. goaltender at the international, professional, collegiate or junior level.

College Player of the Year - Adam Gaudette

Northeastern University forward Adam Gaudette finished his collegiate career as the first player in school history to capture the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the nation’s most outstanding player.

In his third season with the Huskies, Gaudette seized the NCAA scoring title with 60 points. He also led the NCAA Division I men’s ranks with 30 goals and 1.58 points per game. He is just the 11th player in Northeastern program history to score 30 goals in a season and the seventh in the NCAA since the 2012-13 campaign. Gaudette’s season was highlighted by his second career hat trick in the Beanpot Tournament championship game against Boston University to help lead the Huskies to their first tournament title since 1988. For his efforts, Gaudette was named MVP of the tournament. The center finished his collegiate career with at least one point in 10 of his last 11 games and recorded points in 20 out of his last 24 games.

Gaudette was named the Hockey East Player of the Year and the Walter Brown Award winner, as New England’s best American-born NCAA Division I player. In addition, he earned Hockey Commissioners Association National Player of the Month and Hockey East Player of the Month honors in both January and February, and three times was named the Hockey East Player of the Week.

Following the conclusion of his final collegiate season, Gaudette signed with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks and appeared in five games.

The Braintree, Massachusetts, native is the son of Doug and Tara Gaudette, and has two brothers, Brady and Cam.

The College Player of the Year Award, presented by Bauer, annually recognizes an individual’s outstanding performance during the U.S. college hockey season.

Disabled Athlete of the Year - Mike Barnhart

Mike Barnhart is the president and founder of the Kodiaks, the first-ever sled hockey team in Hagerstown, Maryland.

He was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 7.  As a result of complications, he is now legally blind and a below-the-knee amputee.  He's also a double transplant recipient.  He was physically active in his youth and wished to pursue some sort of physical adaptability sport to stay in shape.

Barnhart first tried sled hockey in Baltimore and loved the camaraderie and competition. Due to difficulties coordinating transportation, he then had an epiphany to build a sled hockey team in his hometown of Hagerstown.

In June of 2016, Barnhart's dream became a reality when hockey sleds were ordered and the first few players were added to the roster.  As of today, there are approximately 18 players on the roster, all from various backgrounds, ages and ability levels. Barnhart is also a player on the team in addition to his volunteer efforts.

Barnhart’s positive energy and unbreakable work ethic is motivated by the motto “Never Give Up,” which is also the key message and slogan for the Kodiaks. The team is comprised of athletes from Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and its main goal is to provide a fun and competitive environment for athletes of all ages and abilities. The Kodiaks have players as young as 6 and as old as 60 on the team, and Barnhart personally works with each player on the team through coaching and organizing practices.

Barnhart relishes the opportunity to give back to his community. He shares his story both in his community and abroad, and speaks at many fundraising events, involving the National Kidney Foundation, Jesse Klump Foundation, ALS and more.

Mike is the son of Sam and Linda Barnhart and has a fiancé, Stacey, and one brother, Bob.

The Disabled Athlete of the Year Award recognizes a disabled athlete that has displayed incredible dedication to disabled hockey in the United States.

Chet Stewart Award - Dick Haney

Dick Haney served as USA Hockey’s referee in chief for the Minnkota District from 1986-1995, and is currently a trusted advisor to Minnesota and USA Hockey officials nationwide.

 Haney began his hockey career as a coach in Duluth, Minnesota, at Glen Avon from 1970-1984.  While there, he served on the Duluth Amateur Hockey Association Board of Directors, and led a 12U team to the city championship in 1974.

He then transitioned to refereeing in the late 1970s, officiating outdoor youth games in the Duluth region. In 1978, Haney became a registered USA Hockey official, refereeing youth games up to the 14U level.

Haney helped found the Minnesota Hockey Officials Association in 1984 and served as an officer with the association for four years. The association honored him with the President’s Award for his exemplary service to the organization in 1993. Haney was also a key member of USA Hockey’s first body-checking task force appointed during the 1993-94 season, and served on USA Hockey’s youth council from 1992 to 1995. It was during Haney’s tenure that the Minnkota District became the benchmark for development and education of officials across the United States.

From 1987-1993, Haney participated in or planned numerous district officiating seminars, and also managed Minnesota Hockey’s officiating scheduling.

Haney was a supervisor of USA Hockey’s National Tournaments in the 1990s, in addition to serving as the USA Hockey Officiating Development Camp director in Lake Placid, N.Y.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Marquette, Mich.; Minneapolis/St. Paul; and St. Cloud, Minn.

For 30 years, Haney has helped officiate outdoor tournament games in the Duluth area, often refereeing games of his 10U- and 12U-aged grandsons. He acts as a consultant and mentor for Minnesota and USA Hockey officials still today, and his contributions continue to impact youth hockey.

By day, Haney created and directed the Recreational Sports Outdoor Program and taught for the University of Minnesota Duluth. He was married for more than 40 years to Patricia Ryan Haney who passed away in 2015.  They shared seven children and 11 grandchildren.

The Chet Stewart Award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the USA Hockey Officiating Education Program during many years of service to the hockey community as an official and/or volunteer.

 

Adult Member of the Year - Kevin Universal

In his 14 years serving on the Carolina Amateur Hockey Association board of directors, including 10 as the organization’s president, Kevin Universal has worked tirelessly to grow the adult game and help foster a passionate hockey culture in North and South Carolina, a region where it isn’t always the first sport that comes to mind.

As president of the board of directors and adult hockey committee chairperson, Universal has served more than 9,000 ice hockey players, coaches, officials and administrators, and has implemented multiple programs to help improve and grow the sport of hockey in the Carolinas. He has also served on the USA Hockey Adult Council since the 2008-2009 season.

His contributions to adult hockey in the region are unmatched. Each year, Universal helps organize and host USA Hockey’s Charlotte Adult Classic, going above and beyond to make the experience enjoyable and encourage players to continue playing. This past season, he also helped kick off a USA Hockey adult skills clinic in the Carolinas in conjunction with the local minor league team, the Charlotte Checkers. 

In addition, Universal – a steward of USA Hockey’s American Development Model – has remained committed to helping players of all ages elevate their skills to the next level. In his district, Universal initiated a development-focused affiliate grant program, which stands as an incredible resource for associations looking to offer skill development sessions or other specialized programs for players.

Universal has also served as an on-ice official since September 2009 and is currently Level 3-certified through USA Hockey. He officiates youth, college club and adult amateur ice hockey in the Raleigh/Durham area.

Universal graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served more than seven years in the U.S. Army, having achieved the rank of captain. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration and management from Colorado State University.

The Adult Member of the Year Award, presented by Labatt Blue, is awarded to an individual who has made outstanding contributions during many years of service to the ice hockey community as an adult player and/or volunteer.

 

Walter Yaciuk Award - Larry Bruyere

Larry Bruyere has devoted more than 40 years to USA Hockey as a coach, manager and founder. Since moving to California in 1974, he has coached at every level from 8U to college, while also overseeing adult programs and rink management.

Bruyere began his career by opening retail hockey stores inside seven local rinks in the San Fernando Valley. While managing the retail store, Bruyere founded hockey programs at the respective rinks, launching their in-house and travel youth hockey programs.

In 1983, he made his coaching debut with the California Golden Bears in Burbank, a position he held for five years. He then transitioned to serving as the head coach of the University of Southern California club hockey program. Next, Bruyere became the general manager of the Junior Lytes Rustlers hockey club in the North American Hockey League in 1987, and he managed the team for 11 years. In 1990, he founded and coached the West Valley Wolves minor hockey club for seven seasons.

Two years later, Bruyere founded the Valencia Express, and coached the 12U and 16U teams from 2000-2007. He also coached the Channel Islands Riptide 12U and 16U teams from 2009 to 2014. Bruyere was honored  as the Western Region Coach of the Year for the Pacific District in 2015.

Bruyere has also held multiple leadership roles within USA Hockey’s district coaching programs. He served as the Pacific District coach-in-chief from 2006-2016, and prior to that was an instructor with USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program, an association hockey director (ACE) coordinator and an associate coach-in-chief from 1998-2006.

Bruyere is married to Michelle Bruyere, and has four children, four step-children, and six grandchildren.

The Walter Yaciuk Award is presented annually by USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the program during many years of service as a volunteer.

Bob Johnson Award - Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, a three-time United States Olympian, capped a resolute march to gold for Team USA at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Her golden goal in the sixth round of a gripping overtime shootout with Canada in the tournament finale stood as the decisive strike in a 3-2 win that gave the U.S. its second Olympic women’s ice hockey gold medal and its fourth-consecutive world title after victories at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championships.

For Lamoureux-Davidson, it was the seventh gold medal of her storied playing career, one that began in her native Grand Forks, North Dakota, before stops at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School – where she won three USA Hockey Girls National Championships – and the University of Minnesota. She eventually returned home to the University of North Dakota, where she earned Female Athlete of the Year honors in 2012.

In PyeongChang, Lamoureux-Davidson finished tied for the team lead with five points (4G, 1A) in five games. Her four goals ranked second among all tournament scorers. She also broke the record for fastest two goals scored in Olympic history when she tallied twice in six seconds during preliminary round play against the Olympic Athletes from Russia. For her considerable efforts, Lamoureux-Davidson was named to the IIHF Media All-Star Team.

With 16 career points in Olympic play, Lamoureux-Davidson now ranks second among all active U.S. players. She has represented the U.S. internationally since 2006 and was a four-time USA Hockey National Player Development Camp invitee from 2004 through 2007. Her 138 points as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team rank among the best of all time.

The Bob Johnson Award, presented by Nike, recognizes excellence in international hockey competition during a specific season of play.

Bob Johnson Award - Declan Farmer

Declan Farmer, a two-time United States Paralympian, authored a dramatic rally for Team USA at the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games, erasing a 1-0 deficit with a goal in the final minute against Canada in the gold-medal game. Farmer’s tally sent the contest to overtime, an extra session the Floridian eventually ended with his team-leading 11th goal of the 2018 Paralympic Games to clinch an unprecedented third consecutive Paralympic gold medal for the U.S.

It was the second Paralympic gold for Farmer, who finished tied for the tournament lead with 17 points (11G, 6A). His 11 goals also tied the U.S. and Paralympic records for most goals in a single tournament. In the finale against Canada, only Brody Roybal and Josh Pauls, who assisted on the golden goal, played more minutes than Farmer (30:42).

The triumph added yet another chapter to Farmer’s storied playing career with USA Hockey. In 2014, he led the U.S. in goals and points en route to Paralympic gold in Sochi, Russia, and Best Male Athlete honors from the International Paralympic Committee. He also received an ESPY Award from ESPN as Best Male Athlete with a Disability. In the ensuing years, he helped lead Team USA to sled world championship medals in 2015 and 2017 and three championships at the World Sled Hockey Challenge (2015 and twice in 2016).

In all, Farmer has skated six consecutive seasons (2013-18) with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, having matriculated to the squad after attending USA Hockey’s National Sled Player Development Camp in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He is the program’s current record-holder for goals (24) and points (41) in a single season, having set the mark this season.

The Bob Johnson Award, presented by Nike, recognizes excellence in international hockey competition during a specific season of play.

Bob Johnson Award - Patrick Kane

In 2018, Patrick Kane further enhanced his reputation for springtime brilliance, becoming the first American to earn most valuable player honors at the IIHF Men’s World Championship.

Kane led all tournament scorers with 20 points (8G, 12A) in 10 games, setting United States records for both points (20) and assists (12). Among his team-leading eight goals were three game-winners, including preliminary round tallies against Germany and Korea, plus the decisive strike against the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals. He also figured in the bronze medal-clinching goal, registering the lone assist on a Nick Bonino marker that spurred Team USA to a 4-1 win over Canada in the tournament finale. It was the Americans’ second victory over their neighbors to the north in a span of 17 days, marking the first time that a U.S. team scored multiple triumphs over Canada during a single IIHF Men’s World Championship.

In addition to being named tournament MVP, Kane was also selected to the IIHF Media All-Star Team for his high-scoring efforts in captaining Team USA to its third medal at the event since 2013 – a run of success unmatched since 1950.

A three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks, Kane now holds the distinction of being the first American player to earn the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer, the first to earn the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s MVP, and the first to earn MVP honors at the IIHF Men’s World Championship. He has represented the U.S. on seven occasions in international competition, including twice at the Olympics and once in the World Cup of Hockey, accumulating five medals.

In 2017, the NHL named Kane to its list of 100 Greatest NHL Players, a fitting honor bookended by his dominant international tour de force in red, white and blue.

The Bob Johnson Award, presented by Nike, recognizes excellence in international hockey competition during a specific season of play.

Distinguished Achievement Award - Dean Blais

In a hockey life spanning some six decades, Dean Blais cut a wide trail of lofty accomplishments through every level of the game.

Lesser known but no less decorated as a championship player, Blais lifted trophies in high school, college and professional hockey as a hard-charging winger. Notable triumphs to be sure, but they became mere footnotes for Blais, whose career ascended highest behind the bench, as a championship coach. His most storied conquests came as head coach at the University of North Dakota, when he twice guided the Fighting Sioux to NCAA Division I men’s national championships.

Blais will be forever revered as a college coach, but he proved his coaching keenness at much more than a single level of the sport. He won in high school hockey, both in North Dakota and in Minnesota. He won in junior hockey, leading Fargo to the USHL’s Clark Cup Final. He won in international hockey, steering Team USA to a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship. He even won at the NHL level, helping guide the Columbus Blue Jackets as an associate coach.

In all, Blais amassed 408 NCAA coaching victories, a total that placed him among the top 20 of all time. He is a two-time Spencer Penrose Award recipient as the top men’s coach in NCAA Division I ice hockey and also a four-time WCHA Coach of the Year selection. He led the Fighting Sioux to three NCAA Frozen Four appearances (including two national titles) and guided the University of Nebraska Omaha to another. Blais also coached the U.S. National Junior Team in 1993 and 2012, and served on the U.S. Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team coaching staff in 1992.

A native of International Falls, Minnesota, Blais capped his coaching career in 2017 with yet another winning college season – his 14th – before embarking on retirement with his wife, Jackie.

The Distinguished Achievement Award is presented to a U.S. citizen who has made hockey his or her profession and has made outstanding contributions on or off the ice to the sport in the United States.

Wm. Thayer Tutt Award - Fred Hudson

Fred Hudson played youth hockey in New Haven, Connecticut, eventually attending Hillhouse High School on the Yale University campus. After a brief stint with the Atlantic Hockey League’s New Haven Bears, he hitchhiked some 1,700 miles to a professional tryout in Winnipeg.

Shifted from defense to the unfamiliar role of a wing for the tryout, Hudson struggled. Rather than an offer from the New York Rangers, he was left with only an invitation to chase $100 a week skating in England – and even that evaporated when the scout discovered he was an American – so Hudson packed his gear and returned home to a Korean War draft notice.

During his time in the service, Hudson progressed to radar school and stayed on as an instructor, mustering out as a first lieutenant in 1953. Armed with timely credentials, he soon joined IBM, where he spent the next 30 years helping launch astronauts by day and hockey players by night.

Deployed first to Huntsville, Alabama, along with his wife, Betty, and their young children, Hudson began work on the Saturn V rocket that eventually won the race to the moon. At the same time, he accepted the challenge of propelling Huntsville’s youth hockey program from its first-ever practice, with only one child who could cross the ice successfully, to a top-caliber operation. From those wobbly first strides, Hudson nurtured what became one of nation’s most vibrant youth programs – the still-thriving North Alabama Hockey Association.

Moving yet again with IBM, this time to New Jersey in 1970, Hudson helped create a second made-from-scratch youth hockey program. It blossomed into what is now the Morris County Youth Hockey League, a strong hub for the game in northern New Jersey.

Upon his return to Huntsville in 1974, Hudson stepped back into leadership with the North Alabama Hockey Association, running the travel program and continuing to encourage the growth of youth hockey. It was a family affair, with Hudson coaching between business trips, his sons playing and Betty managing countless behind-the-scenes tasks.

Eventually, after also helping create the technology that launched Skylab and the Space Shuttle, Hudson and his wife retired in Alabama. At 89 years old, he remains an active player and a member of the board that oversees the Municipal Ice Complex, a facility he helped inspire by setting a foundation for hockey in Huntsville some 56 years earlier.

The Wm. Thayer Tutt Award is presented to a volunteer who, during many years of service, has displayed selfless dedication to the enhancement of ice hockey at the grassroots level in the United States.