I’ve often thrown out the term “Good Guy” as a way to highlight the many great actions I see players on the Milwaukee Admirals doing in and out of the rink. Today it is the Admirals turn to use that label and they did so by selecting Zach Budish as the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year for his contributions to the Milwaukee community this season.
Press Release via Milwaukee Admirals:
The Milwaukee Admirals are proud to announce that Zach Budish has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Milwaukee community during the 2014-15 season.
A second-year pro from Edina, MN, Budish was instrumental to the success of the Admirals reading program “Reading: The Ultimate Power Play,” as he went to multiple Milwaukee Public Schools that participated in the program to read to the kids in their classrooms. In addition, he made numerous other schools visits to talk with kids about the importance of sportsmanship and how success in school helped him reach where he is today.
Zach served as a celebrity waiter for Prevent Blindness of Wisconsin’s annual fundraiser that raises money to help prevent blindness and other severe eye problems in kids and was one of the top tip earners at the Admirals Celebrity Serve which raised over $18,000 for the Power-Play Foundation, which supports non-profits in southeast Wisconsin.
Zach also went to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to visit sick kids during the season and donated money to help buy presents for underprivileged kids at Christmas time.
Budish is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2014-15 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 later this month.
Budish isn’t just making splashes away from the rink. He is also having his best season in pro hockey to date. In his time with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL he recorded 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists) in 30 games. For the Admirals this season he has 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists). For both levels of hockey he has managed to maintain a positive plus/minus rating, as well.
All teams in the AHL announced their recipients of the “Man of the Year” team awards this afternoon. You can read up on the other award winners via the AHL. There you will see a couple of former-Admirals have also won for ther respective teams: Mathieu Tousignant, Mike Moore, Jonathon Blum, and Zack Stortini.