E.H.C. European Hockey Awards announced

E.H.C. European Hockey Awards announced

17 Jun 2023 | Alliance of European Hockey Clubs

The 2023 Fenix Outdoor European Hockey Awards were announced by the Alliance of European Hockey Clubs (E.H.C.). This is the seventh year the E.H.C. is recognizing the best accomplishments in European clubs and leagues


The winners:

Young Player of the Year – presented by Fjällräven

William Wallinder (Rögle BK, SWE/SHL) – In just his second full SHL season, the 20-year-old established himself as Rögle’s top defenceman. A big, smooth-skating, puck-carrying rearguard, his average ice time of 21:27 led his team and was 10th in the whole league. Offensively, Wallinder’s 26 points in 50 games was 13th in the league among defencemen and tied him for tops among all players 20 and under at any position. In the playoffs, he added three more points in 9 games and in the Champions Hockey League he was even more prolific with 8 points in 9 games.

Other nominees
Leo Carlsson (Örebro Hockey, SWE), Leevi Meriläinen (Kärpät Oulu, FIN), Aku Räty (Ilves Tampere, FIN), David Reinbacher (EHC Kloten, SUI)

Coach of the Year – presented by Globetrotter

Jussi Tapola
 (Tappara Tampere, FIN/Liiga) – When Tapola came on board in 2012, Tappara had missed the playoffs twice in a row and hadn’t won a title since 2003. The team promptly made the Liiga finals five years in a row under his guidance, winning twice. After a three-year absence, Tapola returned to the bench in 2020. This season was the second straight in which Tappara finished first in the regular season and won the playoffs, and this year they added a CHL title to make it a “treble”. All of this has made Tapola a highly sought-after coach, and next season he begins a new challenge behind the bench of SC Bern.

Other nominees: Jan Cadieux (Genève-Servette, SUI), Jörgen Jönsson (Växjö Lakers, SWE), Tommi Niemelä (Pelicans Lahti, FIN), Antti Törmänen(EHC Biel-Bienne, SUI)

Club of the Year – presented by Hanwag

Tappara Tampere (FIN/Liiga) – Over the past 11 seasons, Tappara has dominated Finnish hockey with four Liiga titles, eight finals appearances and never finishing worse than 4th in the regular season. The team has been especially dominant in the past two seasons in the new state-of-the-art Nokia Arena. Last year, a domestic double and lost in the CHL final. This year, they took care of unfinished business by taking the “treble”. They became the second Finnish club to win the CHL with a 3-2 road win over Luleå, then edged local rival Ilves to top the standings before going 12-2 in the playoffs.

Other nominated clubsBelfast Giants (GBR), Genève-Servette (SUI), Oceláři Třinec(CZE), Växjö Lakers (SWE)

Warrior Career Excellence Award

The Warrior of the Year is awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, dedication and career excellence, combined with community service and high standard of playing ability.

Patrick Reimer (Nürnberg Ice Tigers, GER/DEL) – Just call him Herr DEL. He’s the German league’s all-time leader in goals (349) and points (768). Reimer was the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2004/05 when he broke in with Düsseldorf . He won the MVP three times in 2014, 2016 and 2017, leading the league in points each of the last two. For the past 11 seasons, he was captain of the Nürnburg Ice Tigers, retiring this spring after 43 points in 49 games. Internationally, he represented Germany at five World Championships and was part of the 2018 Olympic silver medal team.

Other nominees: Roman Červenka (R-Jona Lakers, SUI), Valtteri Filppula (Genève-Servette, SUI),

Joakim Lindström (Skellefteå AIK, SWE), Tomáš Plekanec (Rytíři Kladno, CZE)

E.H.C. Leadership Award
To be awarded to a distinguished leader in European club ice hockey for their outstanding commercial and social accomplishments within their club and their community. 

Robert Fitzpatrick (Belfast Giants, EIHL) – The CEO of the Belfast Giants took over the ownership of the EIHL club some ten years at a critical time for the Giants as their immediate future was at risk. But seeing the bigger picture – the enormous impact that the “neutral” sport of ice hockey had within the adverse communities of Northern Ireland – Robert Fitzpatrick didn’t blink at taking control despite that the team was losing money at that time. Under his leadership, the Giants have become the best night out in Belfast, while asserting themselves as the top hockey club in Great Britain, and with European ambitions. 

Kånken Youth Retention Award
To be awarded annually to an ice hockey youth program which emphasizes sustainability through social responsibility and high retention rates among its participants.

Kárpáti Farkasok (HUN) – Only in its fourth season of activity, the club from the outskirts of the capital Budapest have 300 young players and they receive the award along with a €10,000 cheque for their social approach, for creating different and customized practice and competition levels and the ambition to maintain a high retention rate among its club members.

Other finalistsAcademy Rudi Hiti Bled (SLO), Barani Banská Bystrica (SVK), DHC Icecats Linz (AUT), EC Red Bull Salzburg (AUT)

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