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ECHL Awards

Patrick J. Kelly Cup

2017 Recipient – Colorado Eagles

Beginning with the 1996-97 season, the Patrick J. Kelly Cup is awarded annually to the playoff champion of the ECHL.

History: Named in recognition of Patrick J. Kelly, one of the founding fathers of the ECHL. Kelly served as Commissioner of the ECHL for the first eight seasons before being named Commissioner Emeritus in 1996, a title which he continues to hold. Kelly is celebrating his 60th season in hockey in 2012-13, having begun his career with the St. Catherine Teepees of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in 1952. He played professionally for the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League, the Troy Bruins of the International Hockey League, and the Greensboro Generals of the Eastern Hockey League. Kelly coached in the Eastern Hockey League from 1965-73 and was head coach and general manager of Charlotte in the Southern Hockey League from 1973-76. He coached the Colorado Rockies in the NHL in 1977-78 and is the only coach to lead the Rockies to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Following coaching stops in the American Hockey League, he went to Peoria in the International Hockey League where he led the Rivermen to the Turner Cup in his first season in 1984-85. The ECHL is proud to recognize Patrick J. Kelly’s distinguished career by naming its most coveted trophy in his honor.

All-Time Winners


Jack Riley Cup

Retired in 1996
History: Named in recognition of Jack Riley, the Jack Riley Cup was awarded to the playoff champion of the ECHL from the league’s inaugural season in 1988-89 until 1995-96 when it was retired and replaced with the Patrick J. Kelly Cup. Beginning in 1938, Jack Riley did it all in professional hockey as a player, coach, general manager and scout. One of the most respected names in hockey, Riley was President of the American Hockey League from 1964-67 and was then a scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League until being named Commissioner of the Southern Hockey League in 1975.

All-Time Winners


Kelly Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player

2017 Recipient – Matt Register, Colorado Eagles

An annual award “to the most valuable player for his team in the playoffs” as selected by members of the media and the ECHL League Office staff at the conclusion of the final game of the Kelly Cup Finals.

Register is the first defenseman in the ECHL’s 29-year history to win the postseason MVP award.  Register led all defensemen in the playoffs with eight goals and 24 points. His 24 points were second among all players in the postseason.

All-Time Winners


Henry Brabham Cup

2017 Recipient – Toledo Walleye

Beginning with the inaugural season in 1988-89, the Henry Brabham Cup is awarded annually to the regular-season point champion of the ECHL.

History: Named in recognition of Henry Brabham, a founding member of the ECHL, who was the first owner of the Erie Panthers. A former mayor and businessman who was a major force in professional hockey in Virginia for more than 15 years, Brabham worked tirelessly to establish the ECHL during its early years. The ECHL is proud to recognize his hard work and dedication by naming its regular-season champion award in his honor.

All-Time Winners


E.A. “Bud” Gingher Memorial Trophy

2017 Recipient – South Carolina Stingrays

The club that advances to the Kelly Cup Finals as the winner of the Eastern Conference championship is presented with the E.A. “Bud” Gingher Memorial Trophy.

History: Named in recognition of E.A. “Bud” Gingher, who was Chairman of the ECHL Board of Governors from 1992-95. Gingher, who passed away in 2002, co-founded the Dayton Bombers in 1991 and owned the team for seven seasons, serving as President and Governor until selling the team in 1998. Gingher was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2009.

Beginning in 1997-98, the trophy was awarded to the playoff champion of the Northern Conference in the ECHL. The first recipient of the trophy following its renaming was the Dayton Bombers in 2001-02. From the 2004-05 season through 2009-10, the trophy was designated for the playoff champion of the American Conference.

All-Time Winners


Bruce Taylor Trophy

2017 Recipient – Colorado Eagles

The club that advances to the Kelly Cup Finals as the winner of the Western Conference championship is presented with the Bruce Taylor Trophy. The first recipient of the trophy following its renaming was the playoff champion of the Western Conference in 2003-04.

History: The trophy is named in recognition of Bruce Taylor, who was the founding father of the West Coast Hockey League. In the early 1990s, Taylor purchased teams in Fresno, Reno and Bakersfield and in 1995 joined them with teams in Anchorage, Fairbanks and San Diego to form the West Coast Hockey League. The Taylor Cup was presented to the playoff champion in the WCHL from the league’s inaugural season in 1995-96 until the league ceased operations following the 2002-03 season. Taylor’s ownership in hockey began in 1983 with the purchase of the Burnaby Bluehawks of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League and continued with the purchase of the Richmond Sockeyes in the BCJHL and the New Westminster Royals in the BCJHL.

All-Time Winners


CCM Most Valuable Player

2017 Recipient – Chad Costello, Allen Americans

An annual award “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team”.

Chad Costello of the Allen Americans has been selected as the CCM Hockey ECHL Most Valuable Player for 2016-17.

Casey Pierro-Zabotel of Colorado finished second, followed by Colorado’s Matt Garbowsky, Brendan O’Donnell of Florida and Alaska’s Stephen Perfetto.

Costello, who was named to the All-ECHL First Team, led the league in scoring for the third consecutive season with 122 points (33g-89a) in 72 games. He is one of just eight players in league history to record multiple 100-point seasons and one of just four to do so in consecutive seasons. Costello also led the league in 2016-17 with 89 assists, 40 power-play assists and 49 power-play points. His 89 assists rank as the fourth most in a single season in ECHL history.

All-Time Winners


ECHL Coach of the Year (John Brophy Award)

2017 Recipient – Dan Watson, Toledo Walleye

An annual award “to the ECHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success”.
History: The Coach of the Year award was named in honor of legendary ECHL coach John Brophy prior to 2003-04. Brophy coached more seasons than any other coach in league history with Hampton Roads from 1989-2000 and Wheeling from 2001-03, compiling a career record of 480-323-79 in the regular season and 55-39 in the postseason. Hampton Roads reached the postseason in each of his 11 seasons behind the bench, winning back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992 and an ECHL record third title in 1998. His three ECHL titles are the most in league history and he is also the all-time leader among ECHL coaches in regular season games (878) and regular season wins (480) and postseason games (94) and wins (55). Brophy has 1,027 professional wins and ranks second all-time in professional hockey behind only the legendary Scotty Bowman (1,244 wins).

Dan Watson of the Toledo Walleye is the 2016-17 recipient of the John Brophy Award as the league’s Coach of the Year.

Aaron Schneekloth of Colorado finished second in the voting, followed by Brampton’s Colin Chaulk, Cail MacLean of Adirondack and Florida’s Brad Ralph.

All-Time Winners


Warrior Hockey Goaltender of the Year

2017 Recipient – Riley Gill, Allen Americans

An annual award “to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position”.

Riley Gill of the Allen Americans is the recipient of the Warrior Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Year award for 2016-17.

Jake Paterson of Toledo finished second, followed by Colorado’s Clarke Saunders, Landon Bow of Idaho and Cincinnati’s Michael Houser.

Gill, who was named to the All-ECHL First Team, led the league with a .935 save percentage and was second with 32 wins and a 2.22 goals-against average. His seven shutouts were tied for the league lead, and are tied for the second most by a goaltender in a single-season in the ECHL’s 29-year history.

All-Time Winners


CCM Rookie of the Year (John A. Daley Memorial Trophy)

2017 Recipient – Tyson Spink, Toledo Walleye

An annual award “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the ECHL. The winner receives the John A. Daley Memorial Trophy.

History: The rookie of the year award 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 manager and minority owner of the Johnstown Chiefs from the inception of the team in 1988 until 1994.

Tyson Spink of the Toledo Walleye has been named CCM Rookie of the Year and the recipient of the John A. Daley Memorial Trophy.

Tylor Spink of Toledo finished second, followed by Wheeling’s Kevin Schulze, Mike Cazzola of Fort Wayne and Idaho’s Landon Bow.

Spink, who was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team, led ECHL rookies with 33 goals and nine game-winning goals while finishing third among rookies with 75 points. He was fourth among first-year players with 19 power-play points and was fifth with 42 assists, nine power-play goals and 190 shots on goal. 

All-Time Winners


CCM Defenseman of the Year

2017 Recipient – Matt Register, Colorado Eagles

An annual award “to the defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest ability at the position”.

Matt Register of the Colorado Eagles is the CCM ECHL Defenseman of the Year for 2016-17 as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media members.

David Makowski of Allen finished second, followed by Colorado’s Jake Marto, Kevin Schulze of Wheeling and Toledo’s Nolan Zajac.

Register also won the award in 2013-14 while with Ontario and joins four-time winner Chris Valicevic and three-time winner Tom Nemeth, both members of the ECHL Hall of Fame, as the only players to win the Defenseman of the Year award multiple times.

All-Time Winners


Leading Scorer

2017 Recipient – Chad Costello, Allen Americans

An annual award presented “to the player who leads the league in scoring at the end of the regular season”.

Chad Costello of the Allen Americans has won the league scoring championship with 122 points (33g-89a).

Colorado’s Casey Pierro-Zabotel was second with 88 points (24g-64a) followed by Shane Berschbach of Toledo with 86 points (18g-68a). Florida’s Brant Harris (32g-51) and David Vallorani of Brampton (32g-51a) finished tied for fourth with 83 points each.

Costello, who was named to the All-ECHL First Team, also led the league with 89 assists, 40 power-play assists and 49 power-play points. His 89 assists rank as the fourth most in a single season in the ECHL’s 29-year history.

It is the third consecutive season in which Costello has captured the ECHL scoring title, becoming the first player in ECHL history to accomplish the feat.

All-Time Winners


AMI Graphics Plus Performer Award

2017 Recipient – Joel Chouinard, Allen Americans

An annual award presented “to the player who leads the league in plus-minus rating at the end of the regular season”.

Joel Chouinard is the recipient of the AMI Graphics Plus Performer of the Year award after finishing the season with a plus-minus rating of +47.

Simon Denis of Toledo finished second with a plus-minus rating of +40, followed by Fort Wayne’s Cody Sol at +39. There was a five-way tie for fourth at +32.

Chouinard posted an even or better rating in 54 of his 72 games this season. He posted 44 points (10g-34a), which was tied for 10th among ECHL defensemen.

All-Time Winners


Sportsmanship Award

2017 Recipient – Shane Berschbach, Toledo Walleye

An annual award “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

Shane Berschbach of the Toledo Walleye is the recipient of the Sportsmanship Award for 2016-17 as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media members. It is the second consecutive season Berschbach has received the award.

Luke Salazar of Colorado finished second, followed by Brampton’s David Vallorani, Peter MacArthur of Adirondack and Alaska’s Peter Sivak.

All-Time Winners


Community Service Award

2017 Recipient – Mike Embach, Fort Wayne Komets

An annual award presented to a player who goes above and beyond in his efforts for community and charitable causes.

Embach attended over 20 Komets’ community appearances during the 2016-17 season. As an active member of “Hockey Players 4 Kids,” he strives to teach children the importance of reading and working hard in school.

Since joining the Komets four seasons ago, Embach has helped start an annual “Komets Visit” to Lutheran Children’s Hospital around Christmas.

Click here to read more about Embach’s community involvement during the 2016-17 season.

All-Time Winners


General Manager of the Year

2017 Recipient – Chris Stewart, Colorado Eagles

An annual award presented to the top hockey exevutive in the ECHL as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches.

All-Time Winners


Executive of the Year

2017 Recipient – Brent Thiessen, Kansas City Mavericks

The Executive of the Year is determined in a vote of the ECHL Board of Governors.

All-Time Winners


Excellence in Media Relations

2017 Recipient – Everett Fitzhugh, Cincinnati Cyclones

The Award of Excellence for media relations is determined in a vote of league media members, media relations directors and broadcasters.

All-Time Winners


Excellence in Broadcasting

2017 Recipient – Cameron Close, Adirondack Thunder

The Award of Excellence for Broadcasting is determined in a vote of league broadcasters and media relations directors.

All-Time Winners


Excellence in Marketing

2017 Recipient – Colorado Eagles

The Excellence In Marketing Award is presented annually to the team marketing department “adjudged to be the best in the league” as determined by outside expert judges.

All-Time Winners


Overall Award of Excellence

2017 Recipient – Toledo Walleye

The Overall Award of Excellence will be presented by the league office to teams that are first-rate, who excel in all categories of sales and marketing, and who distinguish themselves in their community, both on and off the ice.

All-Time Winners


Ticket Department of the Year

2017 Recipient – Toledo Walleye

The ECHL Ticket Department of the Year is determined in a vote of ECHL teams.

All-Time Winners


Ticket Executive of the Year

2017 Recipient – Steven Anderson, Idaho Steelheads

The Ticket Executive of the Year is determined in a vote of the ECHL general managers.

All-Time Winners


Website Excellence

2017 Recipient – Atlanta Gladiators

The web site Award of Excellence is presented annually to the team whose web site is “adjudged to be the best in the league” as determined by outside expert judges.

All-Time Winners


Social Media Excellence

2017 Recipient – Indy Fuel

The social media Award of Excellence is presented to an ECHL Member Team who has exemplified the use of social media in the following categories; scope of team reach (how many forms of social media does the team utilize and number of followers), creative social content/campaigns, use of social media to achieve business goals and active engagement with fans.

All-Time Winners


Ryan Birmingham Memorial Award

2017 Recipient – Scott DeBaugh

The Ryan Birmingham Memorial Award honors an On-Ice Official for his contributions and dedication to the league officiating staff and is determined in voting of ECHL On-Ice Officials. It is named in honor of ECHL linesman Ryan Birmingham, who tragically lost his life in an automobile accident in May 2007.

All-Time Winners


CCM Hockey Equipment Manager of the Year

2017 Recipient – Andrew Dvorak, Missouri Mavericks

The CCM Hockey Equipment Manager of the Year Award is determined in a vote of ECHL equipment managers.

All-Time Winners


CCM Athletic Trainer of the Year

2017 Recipient – Cole Libby, Utah Grizzlies

The CCM Athletic Trainer of the Year Award is determined in a vote of ECHL athletic trainers.

All-Time Winners


Outstanding Media

2017 Recipient – Doyle Woody, Alaska Dispatch News

The Outstanding Media Award is determined in a vote of the ECHL media members, broadcasters, and media relations directors.

All-Time Winners