The United States Hockey League today announced that Green Bay Gamblers first-year forward Anders Lee has been named USHL Rookie of the Year as determined by a vote of League coaches.
"Anders is the total package – and to win an Anderson Cup, you need to have a player like Anders Lee on your team," said Green Bay Gamblers Head Coach and General Manager Jon Cooper. "What makes him unique is that he can excel in all three zones, and not many players can do that."
Lee, 19, led the Gamblers in scoring with 66 points (35g, 31a) while playing in all but one of the 60 games for the team as Green Bay captured its second consecutive Anderson Cup. The Anderson Cup is awarded annually to the USHL Member Club earning the greatest number of points during the regular season.
Lee's point total tied him for tenth place in the League. He also finished in a three-way tie for the most goals in the regular season with 35 (Matt White of the Omaha Lancers, and Tyler Barnes of the Waterloo Black Hawks, also totaled 35 goals). Nine of Lee's goals were game-winners, the most by a player in the USHL since the 2005-06 season. Lee ranked second overall in the USHL with a plus-38 rating, and he equaled a League season high when he scored a goal in eight consecutive games from February 6-28.
"What a great athlete and what a great hockey player," said USHL Commissioner Skip Prince. "He was a dominant force on the ice throughout the season, and we'll look forward to seeing him continue with Green Bay during this year's playoff run. Congratulations to Anders and to the Green Bay organization."
The 6-2, 216-pound forward played well from the moment he joined the Gamblers, recording two assists in his season debut on October 3rd, 2009, and points in his first four games with the team (3g, 3a) including two game-winning goals. Lee was also selected to compete in the 2010 USHL All-Star Game and collected one assist in the contest.
Lee, a native of Edina, Minnesota, was a sixth-round selection (152nd overall) of the New York Islanders in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Prior to coming to the USHL, the talented multi-sport athlete was an All-State hockey forward and football quarterback, named the 2008 Metro Football Player of the Year by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He is committed to play collegiate hockey at the University of Notre Dame next season.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)