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DANIEL WALCOTT NAMED IOA/AMERICAN SPECIALTY AHL MAN OF THE YEAR

Credit: Syracuse Crunch

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Crunch is proud to announce that Daniel Walcott has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Syracuse community during the 2023-24 season.

Walcott is now one of 32 finalists for the AHL’s 2023-24 Yanick Dupré 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 Dupré Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League later this month.

Over his nine seasons with the Crunch, Walcott has consistently worked with a variety of organizations to become a socially informed and active member of the Syracuse community.

Walcott has worked with PEACE, Inc. as a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program since the 2018-19 season. After a rigorous background check and interview process, he was matched with his little, Jeremiah. That year, Walcott spent part of the summer in Syracuse where he purchased a house and continued to be a mentor for Jeremiah. His work with Jeremiah and the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program continued through the pandemic with virtual check-ins and Walcott is still a Big Brother to Jeremiah.

Being part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program means making a large time commitment and becoming responsible as a mentor for a young member of the Syracuse community. In addition to activities, Walcott has spent several years building a relationship with Jeremiah as a role model. He helps Jeremiah with his homework and is in contact with Jeremiah’s mother to help him with in-school behavior and responsibilities.

This March, Walcott was the keynote speaker at Jeremiah’s high school, OnTECH Charter High School, during the end-of-the-trimester school assembly on careers and leadership. OnTECH is a year-round, free public school open to students from Syracuse and all surrounding districts that combines career and technical education with real-world, project-based learning.

Walcott consistently maintains a strong relationship with both his team and the fan base. He continues to be a leader in the team’s efforts to raise money and support the greater Syracuse community. During November, Walcott worked with his two teammates, Félix Robert, and Shawn Element, to support the team’s Change for Change program and raise funds for cancer research. The players set a goal of $10,000 and shaved their heads after the team’s Hockey Fights Cancer game on Nov. 24. Walcott, Robert and Element also donated their time to promote additional fundraising by raffling off an hour of ice time and a shooting lesson in the shooting room to three fans who donated towards the cause. The three players were able to present a check for $10,445 to Upstate University Hospital in early December.

During the holiday season, Walcott joined his teammates in decorating ornaments that were sold during a December game to support the team’s Change for Change campaign benefitting Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. He also led the way in rallying his teammates for the Crunch’s premier charity fundraiser, Crunch At Your Service, to help raise money for the Crunch Foundation and Kinney Drugs Foundation in March.

Walcott works closely with the front office each season to develop ideas for videos to entertain the fan base while offering the opportunity to get to know the players off the ice. This season, Walcott helped bring the team into the recording studio where players produced “12 Days of Crunchmas” and released the song on all streaming platforms.

This summer, Walcott will continue to partner with former Crunch forward P.C. Labrie to hold The Camp at the local Meachem Ice Arena. The Camp is a youth hockey summer camp designed to promote movement, stretching, and healthy lifestyle education with the goal of shaping youth athletes to develop and perform at the top of their game.

Walcott’s positive energy and willingness to interact with the fans makes him a favorite in Syracuse. Not only does he consistently volunteer to participate in team events, he motivates his teammates to do the same. He works with the front office to ensure he is in tune with community needs and puts his valuable time to good service. His involvement with the community and fans makes him a great role model on the team and a positive representative of the Syracuse Crunch organization.

Single-game tickets and ticket packages for the 2023-24 season are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the Upstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse, by calling the office at 315-473-4444 or online through Ticketmaster. For the latest Crunch news, visit www.syracusecrunch.com or follow the club on Facebook (www.facebook.com/syracusecrunch), Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch).

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