Carpenter named AHL Man of the Year

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … … The American Hockey League announced today that Ryan Carpenter of the San Jose Barracuda has been selected as the winner of the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award as the 2015-16 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 Dupre 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. 

Carpenter hit the ground running in the Barracuda’s first season in San Jose, spearheading several initiatives and ensuring the organization’s positive and productive presence in the community. A finance major in his time at Bowling Green University, Carpenter taught several classes as part of the Barracuda Math Class program, which has reached 2,500 students in local schools to combine math skills with learning about hockey. He helped run practices for the Jr. Sharks and made multiple hospital visits, including one following the team’s Teddy Bear Toss to deliver donated toys to pediatric patients. Carpenter also played a major role in the Gifts and Goals holiday toy drive, leading his teammates in purchasing toys and donating them to children at School Health Clinics of Santa Clara County. 

Carpenter has forged a friendship with 12-year-old Marlon Stewart, the Barracuda’s “first fan” who suffers from Saethre-Chotzen syndrome, a very rare genetic disease that affects cranial structure; Carpenter brought Marlon to the Barracuda locker room prior to one of his surgeries, visited him at home while he was recovering and recently invited him to watch practice from the bench. Carpenter also serves the Bay Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a community leader, speaking to groups and meeting with individuals to share his own stories of faith and experiences as a collegiate athlete. 

A 25-year-old native of Oviedo, Fla., Carpenter is also a leader on the ice, ranking first on the Barracuda in assists and points this season. Carpenter made his National Hockey League debut with the San Jose Sharks on Dec. 12, and represented the Barracuda at the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic. 

The AHL’s annual Man of the Year award is named after the late Yanick Dupre, 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, Dupre 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 2015-16 regular season ends Sunday, and then 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week. 

The winner of the 2015-16 Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award (outstanding rookie) will be announced Thursday.