Abbotsford, BC – The Abbotsford Heat are proud to announce that Zach McKelvie has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Abbotsford community during the 2012-13 season.
Zach McKelvie has been a superb role model for citizens of all ages in Abbotsford and has represented the Abbotsford Heat and the American Hockey League with class and dignity. The 28-year-old defenceman made numerous school visits this season with mascot ‘Hawkey’ as part of the Heat’s reading program, ‘Hawkey’s Hot Readers’. Zach’s school visits included reading to students, answering questions about being a hockey player and discussing the importance of literacy, which were followed by autographs and floor hockey games in the school’s gymnasium. Zach was also one of four players to address over 200 fans on ‘Faith Night’ following the Heat’s January 20th on the topic of ‘Faith, Family & Hockey.’
McKelvie participated in the first annual Heat Player vs. Trainer Fitness Challenge at a local recreation centre. The event put McKelvie against a personal trainer in a workout triathlon and raised $2,300 for 60 Minutes Kids Club, which encourages youth to participate in daily physical activity and healthy living habits. McKelvie was a full participant in the Heat’s practice on the day of the event and then rowed 2000 metres on a rowing machine, biked 5.0 miles on a stationary bike, and finished with a mile on a treadmill.
Prior to his professional hockey career, First Lieutenant McKelvie trained recruits in Fort Benning, Georgia, the home of the US Army Infantry. McKelvie is a proud graduate of West Point, captained the Black Knights in his senior season and remains on the US Army Individual Ready Reserve.
Zach McKelvie is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2012-13 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the former Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. The winner of the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League on Apr. 18.