ORLANDO, Fla. — The ECHL on Friday announced that Orlando Solar Bears forward Aaron Luchuk has been named the recipient of the league’s Sportsmanship Award for the 2020-21 season, as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media members.
The award is presented annually to the player who is judged to have exhibited the best sportsmanship combined with a high standard of playing ability.
Brodie Reid of the Kansas City Mavericks finished second, followed by Corey Mackin of the Allen Americans, Cole Ully of the South Carolina Stingrays and Michael Pelech of the Indy Fuel.
Luchuk, 24, currently leads the ECHL in scoring with 74 points (28g-46a) in 70 games, while being assessed only 16 penalty minutes. His 28 goals and 46 assists are both tied for second in the league. His 219 shots are tied for second, while his eight power-play goals are tied for eighth.
The third-year pro has established new career-highs for goals, assists and points, and he has shattered the previous club single-season records for points, assists and shots on goal. From February 13 – March 7, the forward enjoyed an 11-game point streak – tied for the third-longest streak by an individual player in the ECHL this season – in which he posted five goals and 10 assists. Earlier this week, Luchuk was named to the All-ECHL First Team. Luchuk also received Warrior Hockey ECHL Player of the Month honors for April after leading the league with 19 points (10g-9a) in 14 games.
The Solar Bears have gone 31-14-4-1 this season when Luchuk records a point, and 16-5-2-1 when he has scored a goal. Luchuk leads the Solar Bears with 18 multi-point games; the club has posted a 14-2-1-1 record in those contests.
Luchuk has recorded 146 points (57g-89a) in 150 career ECHL games with Orlando, Brampton and Newfoundland. He has also added nine points (4g-5a) in 33 career games in the American Hockey League with Laval, Belleville and Toronto.
Prior to turning pro, the native of Kingston, Ontario played major junior in the Ontario Hockey League for the Windsor Spitfires and Barrie Colts, producing 251 points (115g-136a) in 274 games. Luchuk helped Windsor capture the Memorial Cup during the 2016-17 season, and the following year he led the circuit in scoring with 115 points, while earning OHL Second All-Star Team honors and was selected as the recipient of the Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy as the league’s best overage player.
ECHL Sportsmanship Award Winners
2020-21 Aaron Luchuk, Orlando Solar Bears 2019-20 Spencer Watson, Indy Fuel2018-19 Zach O’Brien, Newfoundland Growlers2017-18 Brodie Dupont, Norfolk Admirals2016-17 Shane Berschbach, Toledo Walleye 2015-16 Shane Berschbach, Toledo Walleye2014-15 Chad Costello, Allen Americans 2013-14 Peter Sivak, Alaska Aces 2012-13 Randy Rowe, Toledo Walleye 2011-12 Kevin Ulanski, Colorado Eagles 2010-11 Brian Swanson, Alaska Aces 2009-10 Barret Ehgoetz, Cincinnati Cyclones 2008-09 Travis Morin, South Carolina Stingrays 2007-08 Jeff Campbell, Gwinnett Gladiators 2006-07 Derek Nesbitt, Idaho Steelheads 2005-06 Steve Saviano, Florida Everblades 2004-05 Kris Goodjohn, Gwinnett Gladiators 2003-04 Mark Pederson, San Diego Gulls 2002-03 Rejean Stringer, Columbia Inferno 2001-02 Ben Stafford, Trenton Titans 2000-01 Jamie Ling, Dayton Bombers 1999-00 Jamie Ling, Dayton Bombers 1998-99 Jamie Ling, Dayton Bombers 1997-98 Cal Ingraham, Tallahassee Tiger Sharks 1996-97 Mike Ross, South Carolina Stingrays
The ECHL will announce the recipient of the John A. Daley Memorial Trophy as Rookie of the Year on Monday.
The Solar Bears face the Jacksonville Icemen at VyStar Veterans Arena tonight at 7 p.m. before returning home to host Fan Appreciation Night against the Florida Everblades at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center on Saturday, June 5 at 7 p.m.