The ECHL announced on Monday that DJ Abisalih of the Wheeling Nailers is the 2015-16 recipient of the Award of Excellence for Media Relations as determined in voting by members of the media, league media relations directors and broadcasters.
The other finalists were Zach Dooley of the Adirondack Thunder, Kevin McGlue of the Colorado Eagles, Mark Thompson of the Reading Royals and Adrian Denny of the Utah Grizzlies.
The 2015-16 season was Abisalih's fifth season with the Nailers as the team’s broadcaster and Director of Media/Community Relations. Prior to joining Wheeling, he spent two seasons with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Lewiston MAINEiacs.
Abisalih attended the New England School of Communications, where he earned an Associate Degree in Sports Broadcasting. From there, he co-hosted a radio show in Portland, Maine, while also working for the Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) for nine seasons.
He was selected as the radio broadcaster for the 2015 ECHL All-Star Classic in Orlando.
ECHL Award of Excellence for Media Relations Winners
2015-16 DJ Abisalih, Wheeling Nailers
2014-15 Chuck Bailey, Fort Wayne Komets
2013-14 Nick Brunker, Cincinnati Cyclones
2012-13 Kevin Bartl and Ryan Holt, Bakersfield Condors
2011-12 J.P. Puma, Colorado Eagles
2010-11 Will Hoenike, Idaho Steelheads
2009-10 Eric Levine, Elmira Jackals
2008-09 Mike Benton, Stockton Thunder
2007-08 John Hamel, Cincinnati Cyclones
Jeff Harris and Mike Walker, Victoria Salmon Kings
2006-07 Dustin Bixby, Gwinnett Gladiators
Josh Fisher, Las Vegas Wranglers
2005-06 Jeremy Zager, San Diego Gulls
2004-05 Jeremy Zager, San Diego Gulls
2003-04 Mike Kelly, Mississippi Sea Wolves
2002-03 Ryan Stanzel, Louisiana IceGators
2001-02 Bill McLaughlin, Greenville Grrrowl
2000-01 Darren Abbott, South Carolina Stingrays
1999-00 Darren Abbott, South Carolina Stingrays
1998-99 Mark Simpson, Charlotte Checkers
1997-98 Andy Davis, Richmond Renegades
1996-97 Peter Kostos, Louisiana IceGators