SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The United States Hockey League and Sioux Falls Stampede announced Friday forward and captain Will Dineen has been named the recipient of the 2020–21 USHL Curt Hammer Award.
The Curt Hammer Award has been presented annually since the 1988–89 season to a player who distinguishes himself both on and off the ice throughout the course of the season by demonstrating outstanding performance, leadership, pride and determination.
“Will exemplifies what it means to be a member of the Stampede,” said Stampede General Manager and Head Coach Marty Murray. “His work ethic, dependability and team-first mentality made him a great choice to serve as team captain this season and his impact on his teammates, the organization and community at large will hold a long-standing influence for some time to come.”
Dineen, a second-year veteran of the Herd, played all but three of the 54 regular season games this past season. He totaled 25 points from 13 goals and 12 assists, recording five multi-point games with five power-play goals as a vital part of the special team units.
“On behalf of the entire organization, we would like to congratulate Will on earning this special honor,” said Stampede President Jim Olander. “Despite the many challenges faced by the team throughout a difficult season, Will led by example both on and off the ice and actively volunteered his time to be a part of the community at large through an unprecedented time where fan interaction had limitations.”
Dineen participated in several digital fan relations and virtual and promotional messages to the fan base, including the Siouxland Libraries Get to Know You series, where he provided kids an inside look into what it takes to play for the team. He also took part in various charitable and corporate partnership appearances across the Sioux Empire, which included the annual Teddy Bear Toss collection and donation drop off.
“Whether it’s interacting with fans or helping out in the community, Will was always there. He has a bright future in hockey and beyond with the way he approaches everything that comes his way. We wish him all the best as he continues his hockey career and studies,” added Murray.
The 20-year-old accumulated 37 points (16 g, 21a) in 81 career league starts between 2019 and 2021. He will play collegiate hockey and continue his academics at Yale University in the fall. Dineen is the third player in team history to win the exclusive Curt Hammer Award, accompanying forward Ryan Siiro in 2012–13 and defenseman Zach Redmond in 2006–07.
Curt Hammer was a dedicated volunteer and supporter of hockey in the Des Moines community before succumbing to cancer in 1987. The League established the annual award to honor his commitment to improving the USHL and hockey in his local community.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the 2020-21 season will be the USHL's 19th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league. The USHL had 51 players selected at the 2020 NHL Draft, marking the third-straight season with 50-or-more USHL players selected in the Draft. More than 800 league alumni are currently on NCAA Division I rosters, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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