Wichita, KS (April 9th) - The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, AHL's Bakersfield Condors and powered by Toyota, announced their individual team awards this past weekend.
Wichita Thunder Team AwardsMVP - #18 Steven IacobellisCommunity Service Award - #16 Tyler ElbrechtMost Improved Player - #43 Jared WilsonUnsung Hero Award - #26 Dyson Stevenson Glassrattler of the Year - #12 PC LabrieDefenseman of the Year - #74 Keoni TexeiraFan of the Year - Lauri Anderson and familyRookie of the Year - #44 Jakob Stukel
The awards were presented prior to the team's final regular season game this past Saturday night against the Allen Americans.
Iacobellis had a major impact in each game he played this season. He was sorely missed when he went out with an injury. He came returned last Wednesday and didn't miss a beat, scoring in his first game back to the line-up. Iacobellis was also recently named to the ECHL All-Rookie team and was a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year and MVP honors. A player that plays a complete 200-foot game, his passion and energy inspired all those around him.
Elbrecht was the team's nominee for the ECHL Community Service Award. A veteran player that was brought in to provide leadership, he also set an example to his teammates in his community endeavors. He was always one of the first to sign up to go to hospitals or schools. He embraced the Wichita community by giving back to the children.
Wilson saw his game improve on an upward tick during the season. His game never changed and played a tough, hard-nosed game. Initially used as a shutdown defenseman, he broadly expanded his game to the power play and all critical situations.
Stevenson is the embodiment of what a captain represents, he showed that both finesse and physicality were a huge part of his game and helping with team success. Whether it was scoring a big goal or standing up for a teammate, he had an impact on every game he played in this season. Stevenson was called up to the Utica Comets.
Labrie is a veteran of over 700 pro games at the NHL and AHL levels. He brought a unique blend of skill, size and toughness to the Thunder this season. Labrie created space for his line mates and kept players on opposing teams honest. His play earned himself a chance to get back to the AHL with the Condors.
Texeira is a young player who had a tremendous rookie season. He anchored the league's best power play unit, finishing first in power play assists (29) and points (31). He never shied away from a challenge defensively and was matched up against the other team's top lines.
Stukel showed his blazing speed during his rookie campaign. STukel continued to improve each and every game this season. A threat to score in any situation, he parlayed his success into an opportunity with the Condors. This player was the team's leading scorer in the second half of the season at the time of his recall.
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