PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL on Thursday announced that Ray DiLauro of Wheeling is the recipient of the Defenseman of the Year award for 2004-05 as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches. The ECHL Defenseman of the Year Award is presented annually to the defensive player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability in the position.
Guy Dupuis of Bakersfield finished second in the voting followed by Pensacola’s Corey Neilson and Gwinnett’s Randy Dagenais.
DiLauro was named First Team All-ECHL, becoming the first Wheeling defenseman to be named All-ECHL and is only the second Nailer to be All-ECHL, joining right wing Jason Jaffray who was named to the Second Team in 2003-04. DiLauro led ECHL defensemen with 24 power-play assists and four shorthand assists and tied for the lead with 33 power-play points while ranking second among defensemen with 40 assists and 52 points in 72 games. Selected in the ninth round (246th overall) by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, DiLauro finished tied for the overall league lead in power-play points and shorthand assists and tied for fourth in power-play assists. In his third full professional season, DiLauro established career highs for games, goals, assists, points and penalty minutes (82).
ECHL Defenseman of the Year Award Winners
2004-05 Ray DiLauro, Wheeling Nailers
2003-04 Corey Neilson, Pensacola Ice Pilots
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