The award is presented annually to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the ECHL as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media members.. The trophy was named in honor of John A. Daley in 1997. Daley, who passed away in 1996, was one of the founding fathers of the ECHL, serving as general manger and minority owner of the Johnstown Chiefs from the inception of the team in 1988 until 1994.
The ECHL will announce the winner of the Coach of the Year and recipient of the John Brophy Award on Tuesday.
Barnes, who was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team last week, led ECHL rookies in scoring with 74 points (34g-40a) in 71 games this season, which was also tied for eighth overall in the league. His 30 goals were tied for second among first-year players and he was tied for second with 40 assists. He also led all first-year players with 12 power-play goals and 19 power-play points. Under contract with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League, Barnes was the ECHL Rookie of the Month for December after scoring 17 points (7g-10a) in 13 games during the month.
Barnes played the previous four seasons at the University of Wisconsin, totaling 101 points (45g-56a) in 152 games. Prior to joining the Badgers, he spent two seasons with Waterloo of the USHL.
ECHL Rookie of the Year Winners
|2015||Tyler Barnes||Toledo Walleye|
|2014||William Rapuzzi||Idaho Steelheads|
|2013||Ryan Zapolski||South Carolina Stingrays|
|2012||Dustin Gazley||Elmira Jackals|
|2011||Ben Street||Wheeling Nailers|
|2010||Justin Donati||Elmira Jackals|
|2009||Bryan Ewing||Wheeling Nailers|
|2008||David Desharnais||Cincinnati Cyclones|
|2007||Colton Fretter||Gwinnett Gladiators|
|2006||Alex Leavitt||Alaska Aces|
|2005||Joey Tenute||South Carolina Stingrays|
|2004||Kevin Doell||Gwinnett Gladiators|
|2003||Jason Jaffray||Roanoke Express|
|2002||Frederic Cloutier||Louisiana IceGators|
|2001||Scott Stirling||Trenton Titans|
|2000||Jan Lasak||Hampton Roads Admirals|
|1999||Maxime Gingras||Richmond Renegades|
|1998||Sean Venedam||Toledo Storm|
|1997||Dany Bousquet||Birmingham Bulls|
|1996||Keli Corpse||Wheeling Thunderbirds|
|1995||Kevin McKinnon||Erie Panthers|
|1994||Dan Gravelle||Greensboro Monarchs|
|1993||Joe Flanagan||Birmingham Bulls|
|1992||Darren Colbourne||Dayton Bombers|
|1991||Dan Gauthier||Knoxville Cherokees|
|1990||Bill McDougall||Erie Panthers|
|1989||Tom Sasso||Johnstown Chiefs|