Now that most of the New Zealand Ice Hockey Season has been and gone (Mostly) and summer leagues are starting up we thought we would take some time to choose our NZIHL starting line-up for the 2017 season.
Adrian Toth – West Auckland Admirals
Adrian lead the league this year in points, assists and plus minus. Also tied in 2nd with goals. He was a huge boost to the Admirals offense this season and with players such as Henric Andersen and TJ Battani around him, he had some pretty good odds of being in the top tier of offensive players in the league.
Matthew Schneider – Southern Stampede
Matt Schneider is a man who needs no introduction. After coming 5th in scoring and 2nd in goals over the 2017 season, he is already amongst the best in the league but his clutch play is what cements him as an elite NZIHL player.
Matt is the Captain of the Stampede and put up 4 goals in the 2 finals games, when your captain plays like that, the team tends to follow and Schneider led the Stampede to their 3rd straight Birgel cup.
Henric Andersen – West Auckland Admirals
Henric was perhaps the secret behind the Admirals success this year as the coaches voted him the best player on their team at the end of the season. Henric was 2nd in assists and 3rd in overall scoring. He centred the Admiral deadly ‘Import line’ that gave the rest of the league headaches all year.
Henric is currently back in France sitting on a point per game in their top level hockey league. If Henric were to come back for the 2018 season, im sure the Admirals would be waiting with open arms. Perhaps even more so if he brought his brother with him. See here: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=3724
TJ Battani – West Auckland Admirals
TJ slightly misses out on our top 3 solely based on his penalty minutes. TJ sat at 4th overall in Scoring in the 2017 season rounding out the Admirals import line. However TJ finished the season 6th in penalty minutes averaging 5:30 per game. With Battani being such a useful asset to the team, it’s not ideal for him to be in the penalty box for a quarter of his time in NZ.
Jeremy Akeson – Southern Stampede
Jeremy was ‘The Guy’ on the blue line for the Stampede this year, putting up 21 points in 15 games. He was 2nd in overall scoring amongst defenseman and 7th in Assists. His points may have been boosted by the fact that he had players like Colin Mcintosh to pass to however he closed out the season with a +16 rating so he had to be doing the hard work too.
AJ Spiller – West Auckland Admirals
AJ is the silent warrior on the Admirals blue line. He’s like the Ryan Crotty of NZ ice hockey, not too much flash, but doesn’t make mistakes. Aj finished as the highest scoring defenseman and 9th amongst all skaters. Spiller was the player the Admirals turned to after the season ending injury of their captain and he led the team playing nearly every second shift over the finals.
Justin Daigle – West Auckland Admirals
Justin was heading for his best season down under when he was on the wrong end of a high stick and a season ending injury. In saying that he still ended up at 14th on the scoring list with a +9 rating after only playing 8 games, half of which all the others played.
Csaba Kercso-Magos – West Auckland Admirals
Throughout the season, the Admirals split the goaltending duties between Rick Parry and Csaba Kercso-Magos. At the end of the season, Csaba emerged with the best ratings across the board. He led the league in Goals against average and save percentage! Csaba was in net for the Admirals only win against the Stampede and he took his opportunity stopping 42 out of 43 shots on goal!