SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that, in recognition of their efforts during the pandemic, head athletic trainers from all 31 member clubs have been selected as the winners of the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award for 2020-21.
The AHL also acknowledges the assistant athletic trainers, equipment managers and staffs, and team doctors and medical staffs whose tireless efforts contributed to a successful year.
Roadrunners Head Athletic Trainer Bill Nervig just completed his second season with the organization. The Roadrunners are also represented by: Assistant Athletic Trainer Jordan Ellis, Head Equipment Manager Eric Bechtol, Assistant Equipment Manager Ryan Andrus and Strength and Conditioning Coach Parker Poore.
“A big thank you to Bill and the rest of our athletic training and equipment staff for their time and efforts this past season,” said Roadrunners President Bob Hoffman. “Their continued commitment to health and safety best practices and daily examples insured our players and coaches were in a setting and environment to continue development.”
Presented annually since 1998, this award traditionally acknowledges a player as the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year for his outstanding contributions to his local community; in 2020-21, the league is pleased to recognize the athletic training staffs from all 31 organizations.
In addition to their day-to-day responsibilities of looking after the general health of their players – including the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries – these athletic trainers and therapists took on the additional duties of testing, monitoring and administering the AHL’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, allowing the league to operate in a safe and effective manner during the pandemic.
This year’s winners of the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award are:
Chad Drown, Bakersfield Condors
Craig Belfer, Belleville Senators
Jon Williams, Binghamton Devils
Josh Sabitsky, Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Alex Ambrose, Charlotte Checkers
Kevin Kacer, Chicago Wolves
Tom Bourdon, Cleveland Monsters
Brent Woodside, Colorado Eagles
Josh Chapman, Grand Rapids Griffins
Brian Fairbrother, Hartford Wolf Pack
Todd Richardson, Henderson Silver Knights
Brian Riedel, Hershey Bears
Masayasu Takaiwa and Cole Harding, Iowa Wild
Glen Kinney, Laval Rocket
Brian Grogesky, Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Zach Salmonson, Manitoba Moose
Doug Agnew, Milwaukee Admirals
Jeff Andrews, Ontario Reign
Dustin Stuck, Providence Bruins
Michael Dhesse, Rochester Americans
D.J. Jones, Rockford IceHogs
Ryan Ledwon, San Diego Gulls
Will Leonard, San Jose Barracuda
Koryd Lavimoniere, Springfield Thunderbirds
Bryan Erspamer, Stockton Heat
Brad Chavis, Syracuse Crunch
Mike DeGaetano, Texas Stars
Jordan Aube, Toronto Marlies
Bill Nervig, Tucson Roadrunners
Roman Kaszczij, Utica Comets
Seamus McKelvey, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
The AHL’s annual Man of the Year award is named after the late Yanick Dupré, who passed away in 1997 at the age of 24 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. A second-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1991, Dupré played four seasons in the AHL with the Hershey Bears and was an AHL All-Star in 1995.
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.