Photo by Journal Star
The United States Hockey League today announced that Jon Hull of the Lincoln Stars has been named the 2016 USHL General Manager of the Year as determined by a vote of League general managers. Team USA abstained from nominations and final voting this season.
It was the second season with the Stars for Hull after taking over prior to the 2014-15 season. Under his roster, Lincoln finished with a 33-24-2-1 record (69 points), which was good enough to secure the number two seed in the Western Conference. Those 33 wins were the most since the 2012-13 season, and the Stars qualified for the Clark Cup Playoffs for the first time since that same season.
Hull started the process for building the 2015-16 Stars when he first took over in 2014. The 2014 USHL Phase I Draft was a success for the Stars, as Hull brought in key pieces such as Dominick Mersch, Ethen Frank and Jack Badini. He also made a flurry of midseason moves to bolster his roster and solidify the Stars for the postseason. Tanner Laczynski and Trevor Hamilton were added midseason from Chicago, and they made a significant impact down the stretch. Laczynski played 19 games for Lincoln, and he finished with an impressive 23 points (11 G, 12 A) in that span. Laczynski also finished as the team’s leading scorer with 63 points in 52 games (24 G, 39 A). Hamilton finished seventh in scoring among all USHL defensemen (11 G, 24 A) and finished as Lincoln’s leading playoff scorer (3 G, 4 A).
Other fellow Stars made tremendous contributions as well. Including Laczynski, three Stars players finished the season with more than 50 points. Ludvig Hoff finished second on the team in scoring (20 G, 37 A). Grant Jozefek was right behind him with 53 points (21 G, 32 A). Peyton Jones played extremely well between the pipes for Lincoln all season long, as the Penn State commit finished the year with a .922 SV%, putting him fourth among all USHL goaltenders.
25 total players who laced up their skates for the Stars this season are committed to play NCAA Division I hockey. Additionally, four Stars were selected to participate in the 2016 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game – forwards Jozefek and Hoff, defenseman Christian Evers, and goaltender Jones.
Hull is the second Stars general manager all time to win the award. He joins Steve Johnson, who was named USHL General Manager of the Year for the 2000-01 season.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16. A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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