Utica, NY - The Utica Comets are proud to announce that Derek Hulak has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Mohawk Valley during the 2016-17 season.
Hulak has been more than willing to place a foot forward when regarding appearances around the area. His love for interacting with the community has made him a key asset to the Comets community outreach.
Hulak did not focus solely on one specific outreach, he divided his free time between appearances geared towards both adults and children. The forward participated in events such as a turkey drop at a homeless shelter, a reading series at Barnes and Noble, an autograph signing and appearance with former Clinton Comets players and full school assemblies to speak on teamwork and the importance of staying active.
The Comets organization as a whole creates a strong focus on the mentorship program with the local Jr. Comets team. Hulak consistently remained active with his youth players by joining them for bowling or hockey practices.
Hulak is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2016-17 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.