Attard, Helms (above) and Jack Hughes win USA Hockey awards
Michiganders Ronnie Attard, left, and Grand Helms, center, along with current resident Jack Hughes, right, have been honored by USA Hockey.
Two Michigan natives and a notable current Michigan resident are USA Hockey award winners.
Oxford native Ronnie Attard is the Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year, Midland resident and Grand Rapids native Grant Helms is winner of the William Thayer Tutt Award and Jack Hughes, who lives in Plymouth, is the Bob Johnson Award winner.
Attard, a defenseman with the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League, had 30 goals and 65 points in 48 games to set the franchise record for most points in a season. He was the USHL Player and Defenseman of the Year and led the league with a plus-47.
Tri-City coach Anthony Noreen described Attard as “the best leader I have ever been around at the Junior level.”
Internationally, Attard captained the U.S. to its eighth title in the last 11 years at the World Junior A Challenge. He had a goal and two assists in the six-game tournament in Bonnyville, Alberta.
Attard has committed to play at Western Michigan University.
Helms, who is in charge of risk management for the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association, is the epitome of the William Thayer Tutt Award, which goes to the volunteer of the year.
He has been involved with MAHA since 1988 and with the Midland Amateur Hockey League since 1973, when he began helping kids play hockey when he was a firefighter.
Helms has held virtually every position possible in the MAHL and has also had many roles in USA Hockey.
He was inducted into the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
Hughes, who is expected to be the top overall pick in the NHL draft on June 21-22, became the fourth player in history to play in the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Men’s World Championship, IIHF World Junior Championship and IIHF Men’s World Championship in a single season.
At 17, he is the youngest player to ever participate in the Men’s World Championship for the United States. Hughes, a center, had three assists in seven games in the tournament in Slovakia, including two assists. He also was named U.S. Player of the Game in Thursday’s 4-3 loss to Russia in the quarterfinals, which eliminated the U.S.
He had a record-breaking performance in the U-18 tournament, leading Team USA to a bronze medal.
Hughes had 20 points (nine goals and 11 assists) in seven games to set a U.S. record for points in a single U-18 World Championship. That was one point shy of tying the all-time single tournament record. Combined with his 12 points in the tournament in 2018, his 32 points (14-18) surpassed Alexander Ovechkin’s career tournament record to make Hughes the all-time leading scorer in tournament history.
With the National Team Development Program U-18 team, Hughes set the record for assists in a single-season with 78 and established career NTDP records with 154 assists and 228 points.
All three will be honored, along with USA Hockey’s other award winners, during USA Hockey’s Annual Congress June 5-8 in Colorado Springs.