Omaha, NE – Three members of the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights have been nominated for the InterContinental Hotels Group Ironman Award. It’s presented annually by the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, the union representing American Hockey League and ECHL players.
The award goes to a player in each league who has participated in each of his team’s regular season games and has contributed offensively and defensively throughout the 2006-07 season.
Center Andrei Taratukhin and wings David Van der Gulik and Kris Chucko were all nominated for the award. All three recently completed their first years of professional hockey in North America.
Taratukhin tied for the team lead in points. He had 17 goals and 43 assists for 60 points. His assist total was a new team record for assists in a season. The native of Omsk, Russia was the Calgary Flames’ second round draft pick, chosen 41st, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
Van der Gulik finished fourth in team scoring with 16 goals and 27 assists for 43 points. The native of Abbotsford, British Columbia finished the season with a team-high +27 plus/minus ratio. That mark was first among all AHL rookies and fourth overall. Van der Gulik was Calgary’s seventh round pick, 206th overall, in the 2002 Entry Draft.
Chucko finished third in team rookie scoring and sixth overall with 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points. His three game-winning goals tied him for fourth among Knights’ players. The native of Burnaby, British Columbia was Calgary’s first pick, 24th overall, in 2004.
The Ak-Sar-Ben Knights are one of just two AHL teams to have three nominees. Hamilton is the other.
Nominations are based upon individual player performance with primary consideration placed on games played, points and plus/minus statistics. A selection committee of PHPA officials will announce the winner at the annual meeting of player representatives in June.