SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Landon Ferraro of the Iowa Wild has been selected as the winner of the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award as the 2018-19 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 31 individual team Man of the Year honorees.
Sparked by his lifelong friendship with former Tucson Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham, Ferraro embarked on a campaign and dedicated his 2018-19 season to helping the All Heart Foundation – the nonprofit organization created by Cunningham in the wake of his life-threatening cardiac emergency in 2016. Ferraro pledged $100 to the foundation for every point he recorded (with the Wild matching his contributions), and while injuries of his own cut his season short on the ice, Ferraro used his time to actively engage the greater Des Moines community to raise awareness about heart disease, sudden heart attacks and the All Heart Foundation.
Throughout the season, Ferraro has attended events to spread the message that heart disease can impact anyone, regardless of age, gender or physical condition. He has visited hospitals to meet with those affected by heart ailments and has organized events to bring together patients and families to foster friendships and show they are not alone in their battles. Ferraro has donated autographed sticks, pucks and jerseys to raise funds for the All Heart Foundation; organized a team CPR-certification event; and has provided Wild game tickets and meet-and-greet opportunities to patients at the Iowa Heart Center. And when the regular season ends, Ferraro will continue to advocate for heart health through initiatives with the American Heart Association, including captaining the Wild’s team at the Central Iowa Heart Walk on May 4.
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 31 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 2018-19 regular season ends Sunday, and then 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.