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.
Danforth, who was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team and the All-ECHL Second Team last week, finished third among rookies with 28 goals and 59 points despite being recalled to Rochester of the American Hockey League since Feb. 13. His eight power-play goals were tied for second among first-year players while his 18 power-play points were tied for third. Danforth represented the Cyclones at the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, where he won the Fastest Skater competition in an ECHL Skills Competition record 12.75 seconds.
The 25-year-old has added five points (2g-3a) in 15 AHL games with Rochester. Prior to turning pro, he tallied 124 points (42g-82a) in 147 career games at Sacred Heart University.
ECHL Rookie of the Year Winners
2017-18 Justin Danforth, Cincinnati Cyclones2016-17 Tyson Spink, Toledo Walleye2015-16 Matt Willows, Florida Everblades2014-15 Tyler Barnes, Toledo Walleye2013-14 William Rapuzzi, Idaho Steelheads2012-13 Ryan Zapolski, South Carolina Stingrays2011-12 Dustin Gazley, Elmira Jackals2010-11 Ben Street, Wheeling Nailers2009-10 Justin Donati, Elmira Jackals2008-09 Bryan Ewing, Wheeling Nailers2007-08 David Desharnais, Cincinnati Cyclones2006-07 Colton Fretter, Gwinnett Gladiators2005-06 Alex Leavitt, Alaska Aces2004-05 Joe Tenute, South Carolina Stingrays2003-04 Kevin Doell, Gwinnett Gladiators2002-03 Jason Jaffray, Roanoke Express2001-02 Frederic Cloutier, Louisiana IceGators2000-01 Scott Stirling, Trenton Titans1999-00 Jan Lasak, Hampton Roads Admirals1998-99 Maxime Gingras, Richmond Renegades1997-98 Sean Venedam, Toledo Storm1996-97 Dany Bousquet, Birmingham Bulls1995-96 Keli Corpse, Wheeling Thunderbirds1994-95 Kevin McKinnon, Erie Panthers1993-94 Dan Gravelle, Greensboro Monarchs1992-93 Joe Flanagan, Birmingham Bulls1991-92 Darren Colbourne, Dayton Bombers1990-91 Dan Gauthier, Knoxville Cherokees1989-90 Bill McDougall, Erie Panthers1988-89 Tom Sasso, Johnstown Chiefs