SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Kyle Hagel of the Charlotte Checkers has been selected as the winner of the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award as the 2014-15 IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year.
This award has been presented annually since 1998 to an AHL player for his outstanding contributions to his local community and charitable organizations. The Yanick Dupré Memorial Award winner is selected by the AHL and representatives from IOA and American Specialty from among 30 individual team Man of the Year honorees.
A five-time recipient of his team’s Yanick Dupré Award nomination, representing five different AHL cities, Hagel has been the face of the Checkers’ efforts in the Charlotte community this season. He has spent countless hours at school and community appearances delivering toys to patients at a children’s hospital, leading school assemblies to promote healthy living and the importance of hard work, bringing lessons of hockey to both physical education and science classes, and much more. Hagel also implemented the successful “Stick to Reading” program that he created in his previous AHL cities, contacting administrators at a local middle school, laying the groundwork for the program and encouraging his teammates to participate.
Hagel captained the Checkers’ efforts during “Movember” to raise funds for men’s health causes, and also remained involved in two endeavors he helped develop earlier in his career: Shnarped, a popular mobile app that directly connects hockey players with fans; and Hockey Players for Kids, a non-profit organization made up of hockey players dedicated to improving the communities they live in.
The AHL’s annual Man of the Year award is named after the late Yanick Dupré, who passed away in 1997 at the age of 24 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. A second-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1991, Dupré played four seasons in the AHL with the Hershey Bears and was an AHL All-Star in 1995.
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. The 2014-15 regular season ends on Apr. 19, and then 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway.
The winner of the 2014-15 Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award (sportsmanship, determination, dedication to hockey) will be announced Monday.