Mississippi’s Baxter Named ECHL Defenseman of the Year

PRINCETON, N.J. – The East Coast Hockey League announced on Sunday that Jim Baxter of the Mississippi Sea Wolves has been named the 2002-03 ECHL Defenseman of the Year as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches.

Named to the All-ECHL First Team on Thursday, Baxter leads ECHL defensemen and ranks fifth overall in the ECHL with 58 assists. He leads defensemen and is tied for 19th overall in scoring with 74 points in 68 games. Selected by the Boston Bruins in the seventh round (180th overall) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft and by the Carolina Hurricanes in the seventh round (202nd overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Baxter leads Mississippi in assists and ranks third in scoring. The 23-year-old, who is in his second season with Mississippi, was named as a starter for the Southern Conference in the 2003 Compuware/ECHL All-Star Game, and he joins Steffon Walby as the only players in team history to earn All-ECHL First Team honors.

ECHL Defenseman of the Year Award Winners
2002-03 Jim Baxter, Mississippi Sea Wolves
2001-02 Duncan Dalmao, Roanoke Express
2000-01 Tom Nemeth, Dayton Bombers
1999-00 Tom Nemeth, Dayton Bombers
1998-99 Chris Valicevic, Louisiana IceGators
1997-98 Chris Valicevic, Louisiana IceGators
1996-97 Chris Valicevic, Louisiana IceGators
1995-96 Chris Valicevic, Louisiana IceGators
1994-95 Brandon Smith, Dayton Bombers
1993-94 Tom Nemeth, Dayton Bombers
1992-93 Derek Booth, Toledo Storm
1991-92 Scott White, Greensboro Monarchs
1990-91 Brett MacDonald, Nashville Knights
1989-90 Bill Whitfield, Virginia Lancers
1988-89 Kelly Szauter, Erie Panthers

The East Coast Hockey League will announce the C&T Hockey Products Plus Performer of the Year Awardand the Leading Scorer Award on Tuesday, April 1.