Each Annual Congress, USA Hockey recognizes various honorees that have made significant contributions to hockey in the United States during the President's Awards Dinner in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Honorees for the President’s Awards Dinner on June 7 included Chet Stewart Award winner David Kemp (Apple Valley, Minn.); Adult Member of the Year Tom MacDonald (Greenfield, Wis.); Walter Yaciuk Award recipient Les Teplicky (Bettendorf, Iowa); Bob Johnson Award winner Jack Hughes (Orlando, Fla.); Distinguished Achievement Award recipient Brian Murphy (Dover, N.H.); Excellence in Safety Award winner Bill Meehan (Waltham, Mass.); and Wm. Thayer Tutt Award winner Grant Helms (Midland, Mich.).
Find more information on each award recipient below.
David Kemp officiated his first USA Hockey game back in 1980, working in three separate Minnesota Districts at the outset of a career that today spans nearly 40 years. His on-ice career has included working all levels of Minnesota youth hockey and also officiating both girls high school hockey and collegiately at the NCAA Division III level.
On the administrative side of the game, Kemp was elected president of Minnesota’s District Six Referees Association in 1992 and served in that capacity for five seasons. He continued on the District Six board as past president until 1999 when he was appointed to the role of supervisor, a position he still holds today.
As supervisor, Kemp wears many different hats in District Six. He attends monthly meetings with district representatives, while maintaining and updating the district handbook, bylaws and playing rules. While the season is in session, Kemp serves as a member of the disciplinary committee, which gathers every other week during the season and conducts educational meetings for teams and associations to help them better understand the USA Hockey playing rules.
A seminar instructor in the USA Hockey officiating education program since 2003, the Minnesota native has served as camp director for two western regional camps, one select camp and one advanced camp from 2003-07.
Having played a significant role over many years in the USA Hockey officiating community, Kemp’s passion about the future of the game is evident, including serving on a committee focused on recruiting and retaining youth hockey officials.
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.
Hockey has been part of Tom MacDonald’s life for over 39 years. Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, he started skating for the Monona Grove Hornets and the Madison Patriots to begin his playing career. His playing days continued through the years at Madison La Follette High School and University of Wisconsin- Whitewater before spending time in the Great Lakes Hockey League with the Milwaukee Flyers and Fond du Lac Bears.
After his playing career was over, MacDonald knew he had more to give to the game and coached the Fond du Lac Bears for five years, winning the 2009 Men’s Full Check National Championship. He continues to play in various adult leagues in the Milwaukee area and is a regular participant in the Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships in Eagle River, Wisconsin.
In 2016, MacDonald, along with some friends, started a non-profit organization called the Youth Hockey Helpers Foundation. The YHHF was started to grow the game in Region 5 in Wisconsin with scholarships, equipment and free camps for those either new to the game or those who struggled to afford the cost of play.
Today, the YHHF has provided funding for 250 children to attend a hockey camp, and scholarships to almost 30 skaters.
As a founding member and secretary of the organization, MacDonald is an advocate and an ambassador for the great game of hockey. He also plays a role in youth hockey.
MacDonald’s two sons play at the 8U and 10U levels in the Southeastern Hockey Association of Wisconsin. He has coached his sons for the past five seasons and is currently the SHAW Director of Coaches. MacDonald has put together a Player Development Committee that assists in executing USA Hockey’s American Development Model and is striving to develop hockey players that will enjoy the game for years to come.
A native of Madison, Wisconsin, MacDonald currently lives in Greenfield, Wisconsin, with his wife Renee. The couple has two sons, Walter and Charles.
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.
Les Teplicky has devoted more than 20 years to USA Hockey as a coach, director and president.
After playing youth, junior and college hockey growing up, Teplicky took a job with John Deere that included moving 14 different times during his time with the company. In 1995, a rink was built in Davenport, Iowa, giving him the opportunity to get involved in the game he grew up loving.
Teplicky has been widely involved with the Quad City Hockey Association for the last two decades-plus, including serving as president for five years, during which time he was instrumental in starting the Quad City Blues high school hockey program. He also ran the Association’s house league for two years and was a coach for both the house and travel leagues for 14 seasons.
Nearly 10 years ago, Teplicky started a Learn to Play hockey program and still assists the program on a weekly basis. Along with his coaching and administrative roles, he also served as an on-ice official for several years and has spent time working with the local sled hockey program.
Teplicky started with USA Hockey’s Mid-West Affiliate in 1997 and a year later became vice president. From 2010 to 2016, he served as president and also held positions of coaching director, American Development Model coordinator and risk manager. He still assists with projects when needed.
Teplicky has been a regular participant in the Central District meetings for nearly 20 years and was appointed as a USA Hockey CEP instructor covering Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska in 2003. Serving as associate risk manager under Rich Butera for nearly 10 years, Teplicky also assisted Guy Gosselin in helping introduce the ADM in the Mid-West Amateur Hockey Association through coaching education clinics.
Teplicky currently resides in Bettendorf, Iowa, with his wife, Darlene. The couple has three children, Bradley, Christa and Erin.
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.
Jack Hughes has had a remarkable season, highlighted by becoming just the fourth player in history to play in the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, IIHF World Junior Championship and IIHF Men’s World Championship in a single season.
At the 2019 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, Hughes put forth a record-breaking performance while captaining the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team to a bronze-medal finish. With 20 points (9G, 11A) in seven games, he established a U.S. record for most points in a single IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, which fell just one point shy of tying the all-time tournament record. Coupled with his 12-point performance in the same event a season earlier, Hughes’ 32 total points (14G, 18A) surpassed Alexander Ovechkin’s career tournament record to become the all-time leading scorer in IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship history.
Hughes was also a member of the U.S. National Junior Team that participated in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. The youngest team member, he tallied four points – all assists – in five games as he and his brother, Quinn, helped the U.S. earn a silver medal. He then became the youngest-ever U.S. player to skate in an IIHF Men’s World Championship this past May, surpassing the record set by Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Phil Housley.
With the Under-18 Team from USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program this season, Hughes rewrote some of the NTDP record book. Tallying 34 goals and 78 assists for 112 points, he put forth the third best- ever single-season outing by an NTDP player trailing only his 2017-18 output (116 points) and Auston Matthew’s NTDP record 117 point total from 2014-15. His 78 assists this past season also established a new NTDP single-season record, surpassing his own record of 76 assists established one season ago.
Additionally, Hughes’ two years at the NTDP resulted in an astounding 74 goals, 154 assists and 228 points in just 110 games played to become the all-time career assists and points leader in NTDP history. In his ascent of the NTDP record books, Hughes passed the likes of notable NHL players, including Patrick Kane, Auston Matthews, Phil Kessel and Clayton Keller.
The Bob Johnson Award, presented by Nike, recognizes excellence in international hockey competition during a specific season of play.
On March 16, 2019, Brian Murphy skated onto the ice as an NHL official for the 2,000th time in his career, but it was the first time the stick taps and cheers were in his honor. When the puck dropped, he became just the second American official ever to work 2,000 NHL games. The milestone was marked with a pregame ceremony, photo ops, hugs and handshakes, but it didn’t take long before “Murph” was right back to business.
The same has been the case every time he has laced up his skates throughout his esteemed 31-year career, which began back in 1983 in his hometown of Dover, New Hampshire. A retired goaltender for the Dover High School Stickmen in pursuit of a business degree from the University of New Hampshire, Murphy found himself driving a Zamboni part-time before falling in love with officiating.
With the encouragement of his former high school coach Dan Raposa, Murphy continued on with local high school games, then AHL and NCAA Division I college games before he caught the attention of John McCauley and the NHL at the 1986 Olympic Festival in Houston. On Oct. 7, 1988, he made his debut on the big stage – a game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals – and has since gone on to fill his resume with a myriad of professional and international achievements. In addition to having spent a decade teaching at USA Hockey Summer Officiating Development Camps, Murphy worked nine Stanley Cup Finals, one Olympic Winter Games, a Winter Classic and an NHL All-Star Game. He has also been a key contributor to the Officiating Program of Merit, USA Hockey’s highest-level officiating development program, for the past eight years.
When the final whistle blows on the 2019-2020 season, Murphy will hang up his skates, but his poise in the “moments that matter” will remain the standard for those that don the black and white stripes for years to come.
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.
Bill Meehan, MD, is the director of the Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, director of research for the Brain Injury Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and co-director of The Football Players Health Study at Harvard University.
Meehan’s clinical studies have focused on sport-related concussions which led to him co-founding the Sports Concussion Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital. The Principal Investigator of a multi-million-dollar grant investigating the potential long-term effects of concussions sustained during sports, Meehan spends 60% of his time on patient care, 25% on examining innovative clinical practices, 10% on administrative activities and five percent on teaching.
A graduate from Harvard Medical School, Meehan is currently an associate professor of pediatrics and orthopaedics at his alma mater. He conducts both clinical and scientific research in the area of sports injuries and concussive brain injury. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology, the National Football League Players Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League Alumni Association.
In 2012, Meehan was presented with the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine’s award for Best Overall Research. He has multiple medical and scientific publications, is co-editor of the book, Head and Neck Injuries in Young Athletes and is author of Kids, Sports, and Concussion: A Guide for Coaches and Parents and Concussions.
Meehan has mentored trainees and junior faculty over the years, some of whom have been published in high quality journals, founded their own concussion clinics, and established themselves as leaders at their institutions. He has also been an invited lecturer at academic meetings and universities, including visiting professorships.
A pediatric sports medicine specialist with expertise in the area of sport-related concussion, Meehan continues to develop novel potential therapies, while simultaneously overseeing a large translational grant for developing therapies for potential cumulative effects of concussion.
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.
While Grant Helms’ own hockey playing career may have never extended beyond backyard outdoor rinks, his selfless attitude – evident both by his time as a firefighter and years within the Midland Amateur Hockey League – has helped thousands of kids play and love the game for more than 45 years.
A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Helms was nine years old when he started playing the game on backyard outdoor rinks. When his family moved to Midland in 1962, Helms carried that hockey passion with him, continuing to play until his mid-teenage years.
But after a few years away from the game, Helms found his way back to the sport through his work with the Midland Fire Department in 1973. It was then that the third-year firefighter volunteered to coach youth hockey teams sponsored by the department, starting a commitment to the game of hockey that has lasted nearly five decades.
Name a role within the Midland Amateur Hockey League and chances are Helms has held it. While rising through the fire department ranks – eventually becoming battalion chief – Helms expanded his service within the MAHL. After a few years as an assistant coach, he then took on camp director duties before eventually holding roles like director-at- large, tournament director and eventual registrar.
Since 1988, Helms has also been involved with the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association, serving a variety of roles before attaining his current position as MAHA’s risk manager. He also fulfilled several positions with USA Hockey, including risk manager for Michigan and team leader at USA Hockey camps in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Buffalo, New York and Rochester, New York.
Helm’s outstanding career of service was recognized in 2016, when he was inducted into the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame. It is only fitting that his induction class would include a full hockey team, as Helms was included alongside the 1996-born MAHL Midland NorthStars national champion hockey team.
Despite all his administrative work within the MAHL and MAHA, Helms is perhaps best known – and to this day remembered – for the impact he made to the lives of those who came through those organizations. A lifelong bachelor with no children, Helms continues to call Midland home and views the kids who have come through the MAHL ranks since 1973 as family.
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.