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P.K. O'Handley Named USHL GM of the Year

Friday June 1, 2012

P.K. O'Handley has been the Head Coach and General Manager of the Waterloo Black Hawks for 10 seasons. (USHL Images)

General Manager has led Waterloo Black Hawks for 10 seasons

The United States Hockey League today announced that P.K. O’Handley of the Waterloo Black Hawks has been named 2011-12 USHL General Manager of the Year as determined by a vote of League general managers.

In his 10th season with the Black Hawks, O’Handley led one of the youngest teams in the USHL to one of their most successful in his tenure with the organization.  Waterloo finished the regular season with a 35-19-6 record (76) and third place in the Western Conference, only four points behind the first place Lincoln Stars.  The Black Hawks would then advance all the way to the Clark Cup Final against the Green Bay Gamblers.

Along with Associate Head Coach Shane Fukushima, the veteran O’Handley formed one of the most dynamic teams on the ice as they tied for fourth in the USHL scoring 213 goals during the regular season and tied for second in the League with 21 victories on home ice.

“P.K. O’Handley and the Waterloo organization represent the USHL at its best, and this award goes to one of the League’s true leaders and mentors,” said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince.  “As General Manager this year, O’Handley and his staff drafted well, built a team in Waterloo that was one of the League’s youngest but also one of its fastest and most talented – and took them to the fifth game of the Clark Cup against a record-setting Green Bay squad.  Congratulations to P.K., his staff, and the Black Hawks organization on the General Manager of the Year award.”

Waterloo selected Taylor Cammarata first overall in the 2011 USHL Futures Draft and the forward put together one of the most successful rookie seasons in USHL history, playing all 60 regular season games and leading the team with 69 points (27g, 42a).  He was recently named 2011-12 USHL Rookie of the Year.  The Black Hawks also acquired key components to this season’s team through the 2011 USHL Entry Draft, which included the selection of defenseman Eddie Wittchow with the fourth overall pick.  He was selected by the Florida Panthers in the 2011 NHL Draft and played all 60 regular season games for the Black Hawks, totaling 18 points (5g, 13a) and leading the team with a plus-22 rating.  Wittchow joined Cammarata on the 2011-12 USHL All-Rookie Team.

Also selected in the 2011 USHL Entry Draft by O’Handley and the Hawks were forwards Mike Huntebrinker (39th overall) and Mark Naclerio (40th overall).  The duo combined for 76 points (31g, 45a) in 104 total regular season games.

Previous Waterloo draft picks pay huge dividends for the team this season.  Forwards Vince Hinostroza (4th overall) and A.J. Michaelson (14th overall) were first-round selections in the 2010 USHL Futures Draft and both have blossomed into top prospects for the upcoming 2012 NHL Draft.  Tony Cameranesi (61st overall) was picked in the 2010 USHL Entry Draft and the Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick was the Black Hawks third leading scoring.  Waterloo’s last selection in the 2010 USHL Entry Draft, Ryan Papa (309th overall), also made significant contributions this season as he scored 31 points (13g, 18a) in 47 regular season games.

O’Handley orchestrated a pair of moves that were vital to the team’s success.  Waterloo acquired Mitch Witek just prior to the start of the season and the defenseman played all but one of the 60 regular season games.  He made his biggest impact during the postseason as he scored 14 points (4g, 10a) and posted a plus-10 rating in 15 playoff games.  Waterloo also acquired goaltender Stephon Williams in a midseason trade with the Sioux Falls Stampede.  Williams won 10 games during the regular season, but took his game to another level in the playoffs as he won 10 more postseason contests posting a 2.28 goals-against-average and .922 save percentage to lead Waterloo to their extended run in the Clark Cup Playoffs.

In addition to developing NHL talent, O’Handley continues to prepare players for college hockey as 16 players on Waterloo’s final roster are committed to attend NCAA Division I schools.

The future also looks bright for O’Handley and the Waterloo Black Hawks with the return next season of Cammarata and defenseman Ian McCoshen, both top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft, and the re-stocking of the Black Hawks pipeline with six prospects selected in the 2012 USHL Futures Draft and 14 players taken in the 2012 USHL Entry Draft.

It is the second time that O’Handley has been named the USHL General Manager of the Year.  He won the award following his first season with the Waterloo Black Hawks in 2002-03.  He has won 464 regular season games in 17 seasons as a USHL head coach, the fifth most coaching wins in League history.

 

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 10th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2011-12.  With 28 picks during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, 13 NHL draftees on its rosters this season, and over 250 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools this season, the USHL is emerging as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.  For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s multiple social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive).  Fans can also watch USHL action online all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com)   

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