Zapolski named CCM ECHL Most Valuable Player

PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL on Friday announced that
Ryan Zapolski of the South Carolina Stingrays has been named the CCM ECHL Most Valuable Player for 2012-13.

The CCM Most Valuable Player award is presented annually to the player selected to be the most valuable to his team as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media members.

Mathieu Roy of Florida finished second, followed by Gwinnett’s Casey Pierro-Zabotel, Nick Mazzolini of Alaska and Colton Yellow Horn of Ontario.

Zapolski joins Frederic Cloutier (Louisiana, 2001-02) as the only players in ECHL history to win Rookie of the Year, Goaltender of the Year and Most Valuable Player in the same season. He is the first rookie to win MVP honors since Cincinnati’s David Desharnais in 2007-08, and joins Cloutier and Scott Stirling (Atlantic City, 2003-04) as the only goaltenders to be named ECHL Most Valuable Player.

The 26-year-old led the ECHL with a 1.64 goals-against average, a .942 save percentage and eight shutouts, while finishing tied for second with 27 wins and fifth with 2,378 minutes played. He set a new ECHL single-season record for lowest goals-against average, while tying the mark for most shutouts in a season and tying the second best save percentage in league history. Zapolski also earned Most Valuable Player honors at the 2013 ECHL All-Star Game, stopping all 17 shots he faced in the second period of the ECHL All-Star 7-3 win against Colorado.

A native of Erie, Pa., Zapolski allowed two goals or less in 32 of his 38 appearances this season, and was at his best down the stretch going 12-3-2 over his last 17 games with five shutouts, a 1.22 goals-against average and a save percentage of .960.

CCM ECHL Most Valuable Player Award Winners

2013   Ryan Zapolski South Carolina Stingrays
2012   Chad Costello Colorado Eagles
2011   Wes Goldie Alaska Aces
2010   Tyler Donati Elmira Jackals
2009   Kevin Baker Florida Everblades
2008   David Desharnais Cincinnati Cyclones
2007   Brad Schell Gwinnett Gladiators
2006   Jeff Campbell Gwinnett Gladiators
2005   Scott Gomez Alaska Aces
2004   Scott Stirling Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies
2003   Buddy Smith Arkansas RiverBlades
2002   Frederic Cloutier Louisiana IceGators
2001   Scott King Charlotte Checkers
2000   Andrew Williamson Toledo Storm
1999   Chris Valicevic Louisiana IceGators
1998   Jamey Hicks Birmingham Bulls
1997   Mike Ross South Carolina Stingrays
1996   Hugo P. Belanger Nashville Knights
1995   Vadim Slivchenko Wheeling Thunderbirds
1994   Joe Flanagan Birmingham Bulls
1993   Trevor Jobe Nashville Knights
1992   Phil Berger Greensboro Monarchs
1991   Stan Drulia Knoxville Cherokees
1990   Bill McDougall Erie Panthers
1989   Daryl Harpe Erie Panthers