Crunch’s Walcott voted winner of Yanick Dupré Memorial Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Syracuse Crunch forward Daniel Walcott has been selected as the winner of the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award for 2023-24.

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 32 individual team Man of the Year honorees.

In his ninth season with the team, Walcott is a five-time recipient of the Crunch’s IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year honor, having consistently worked with a variety of organizations to become a socially informed and active member of the Syracuse community. Since 2018, he has worked with the PEACE, Inc. Big Brothers Big Sisters Program, forming a long-lasting mentorship bond with his “little” Jeremiah, helping the teenager with responsibilities in school and at home. Walcott was recently the keynote speaker at OnTECH Charter High School to speak to Jeremiah and his classmates about careers and leadership.

Walcott’s strong relationship with his teammates and the Crunch fan base is evident as he continues to be a leader in the organization’s efforts to support the greater Syracuse community. In November, Walcott led the team’s Change for Change program, joining teammates Felix Robert and Shawn Element to raise more than $10,000 for cancer research. He also led the way in rallying fellow players for the Crunch’s premier charity fundraiser, Crunch At Your Service, to help raise money for the Crunch Foundation and Kinney Drugs Foundation. Walcott continues to be active with local youth hockey programs as well, including running a summer camp – along with former Crunch forward P.C. Labrie – designed to promote healthy lifestyle education in young athletes.

Walcott also works closely with the Crunch front office each season to develop ideas for videos to entertain the fan base, offering an opportunity to get to know the players off the ice. This season, Walcott helped bring the team into the recording studio where players produced “12 Days of Crunchmas” and released the song on all streaming platforms.

A native of Ile-Perrot, Que., Walcott has made Central New York his home, and is the Crunch franchise’s all-time leader with 443 games played.

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 32 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.