The Utica Comets are proud to announce that Carter Bancks has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Utica community during the 2019-20 season.
Carter is unequivocally the leader of the Utica Comets. And while it’s recognized by the 3,900 fans in our building every night because he is the man with the “C” on his jersey, his impact as a leader has been felt by tens of thousands of people in our region over his career with the organization. Those familiar with the hockey side of the organization will tell you that Carter is the top off-ice leader in the dressing room. Those familiar with the community side of the organization will tell you that Carter is the top off-ice leader outside of the dressing room as well.
Carter doesn’t have a switch that turns on and off. He is always his authentic self. And, to the benefit of countless people, his authentic self is caring, giving, dedicated, and grateful to those who have embraced him as one of their own. He is insanely generous with his time and energy in an effort to make the lives of those around him better.
As the longest tenured Comet and a 10th-year pro, Carter could have very easily deferred his community involvement to some of the younger guys in the locker room. But instead of that, he actually volunteered and attended more appearances than any other player on our team. We always knew that we could count on Carter in any scenario that required a community influencer. You knew he could bring joy and energy when meeting with area children, and you knew that he could bring compassion and sympathy when meeting with injured veterans or abused women. We leaned on Carter many times this season in many different situations, and he delivered each and every time.
Carter Bancks isn’t just synonymous with Utica Comets hockey. Carter Bancks is synonymous with Utica as a whole.
He is the consummate example of a professional, and anyone in the hockey world, not just the AHL, should look up to him.
Bancks is now one of 31 finalists for the AHL’s 2019-20 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 at a later date.