Air Force senior defenseman Dylan Abood was named the 2018 recipient of the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award by the Hockey Commissioners Association on Friday.
The award was established by the HCA in honor of former Army player Derek Hines, who was a “consummate team player and team builder.”
Hines, a four-year letterwinner from 1999 to 2003, was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 1, 2005, in Afghanistan.
Abood, who carries a 3.85 overall grade point average while majoring in electrical engineering, played in 122 games for the Falcons, scoring four goals and 27 points.
“Dylan Abood is without a doubt the No. 1 cadet-athlete I have coached in my 21 years at the Air Force Academy,” coach Frank Serratore said in a statement. “As a junior and senior, he was has been the unquestioned leader and heart and soul of both teams that won league championships and reached the NCAA Elite Eight.
“I have been privileged to coach some amazing cadet-athletes over the last 21 years who excelled in the classroom, on the ice and as leaders in the Air Force and their community. I have never witnessed this rare combination of top-level intellect, off-the-charts will, in such a caring human being as Dylan Abood. Dylan’s combination of work ethic and dogged determination combined with his motivation to continually develop himself and those around him puts him in a class above any student-athlete I have ever coached.”
The Centennial, Colo., native has been on the Dean’s List every semester. He is a two-time, first-team CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and has been named academic all-conference three times.
The other finalists for the award were Ohio State’s Christian Lampasso, Dartmouth’s Devin Buffalo, Connecticut’s Derek Pratt, North Dakota’s Austin Poganski and Alaska’s Nick Hinz.
The Hockey Commissioners Association coordinates the honor. Each of the six hockey conferences nominates a player to a national ballot. Conference media directors vote on a winner “who displays exemplary sportsmanship, is supremely competitive, intelligent and extraordinarily conditioned with an unmatched work ethic. The contributions of this individual, on and off the ice, cannot be measured by statistics alone.”