The United States Hockey League today announced that Omaha Lancers forward Matt White has been named B2 Networks USHL Player of the Year as determined by a vote of League coaches.
"Matt has been a leader in the locker room as well as on the ice all year," said Omaha Lancers Head Coach and General Manager Bliss Littler. "His skill level makes him fun to watch every night. We have watched Matt grow up and mature into a responsible young man this past season and he has a great deal to do with any success that we had as a team this year. I look forward to watching Matt progress at the University of Nebraska-Omaha next year."
White, 20, was second in USHL scoring this season with 82 points (35g, 47a) in 57 games, finishing just one point behind Tri-City Storm forward Jaden Schwartz who was recently named USHL Forward of the Year. White was one of three players this season who led the League with 35 goals (Anders Lee of the Green Bay Gamblers and Tyler Barnes of the Waterloo Black Hawks also totaled 35 goals). Eight of his goals were shorthanded, which was one shy of tying the USHL single season record.
Earlier this season, White established a League season high when he recorded a point in 17 consecutive games. He collected 40 points (15g, 25a) during that span, including a career high five-point game (2g, 3a) in the 7-4 win over Waterloo on November 6th, 2009. White also led the USHL with a plus-41 rating, the highest mark in the League since the 2003-04 season (Bill Thomas, Tri-City Storm, plus-43). The Lancers forward was selected to compete in the 2010 USHL All-Star Game in January and collected one assist in the contest.
"There's not a better player on or off the ice in the United States Hockey League," said USHL Commissioner Skip Prince. "He personifies everything the USHL strives to stand for. Commitment, discipline, leadership, intensity, character – they are all just words until you meet someone like Matt. Congratulations to him, and to the Lancers organization for helping him to become the player and person he is today."
White has played three seasons in the USHL compiling 145 points (57g, 88a) in 155 career games. Including this year's playoffs to date, he has scored 21 points (6g, 15a) in 21 USHL playoff games. The native of Whittier, California was a member of the 2007-08 Lancers team that captured both the Anderson Cup and Clark Cup titles. White will continue his hockey career in Omaha as he is committed to play collegiately next season for the Mavericks at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)