ST. PAUL, MN - Dylan Abood, a senior defenseman at the United States Air Force Academy, has been named the recipient of the 2018 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award, which was announced tonight by the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) at the Frozen Four in St. Paul.
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 played at Army from 1999-2003 and was a four-year latter-winner as well as a co-captain his senior season. He 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 over his four-year career. His offensive production of 4-23-27 does not begin to tell the story of this inspirational college athlete.
"Dylan Abood is without a doubt the No. 1 cadet-athlete I have coached in my 21 years at the Air Force Academy," head coach Frank Serratore said. "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. This past summer, he was selected for the Cadet Summer Research Program with MIT Lincoln Laboratory under Group 73 (Energy Systems), building, developing and testing a portable solar power system to assist with disaster relief operations.
A flight commander in his squadron, he has volunteered numerous hours in the community, including Break Time, assisting families that have special needs children, the Marion House Soup Kitchen, assisting with the Colorado Springs homeless population and local fire mitigation units.
Abood, a two-time team captain, scored the game-winning goal against Arizona State earlier this season, the second game-winner of his career. Abood is a +35 for his career and, this season, ranked fourth in the conference in blocked shots with 66. The other finalists for this year's award were Christian Lampasso, The Ohio State University (Big Ten); Devin Buffalo, Dartmouth College (ECAC Hockey); Derek Pratt, University of Connecticut (Hockey East); Austin Poganski, University of North Dakota (NCHC); Nick Hinz, University of Alaska (WCHA).
The Hockey Commissioners Association coordinates the honor. Each of the six hockey conferences nominates a player to a national ballot. From there, 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."
Recipients of the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award
Year - Recipient/Class/Position/Institution
2007 - Dan Shribman, SR, Forward, Dartmouth College
2008 - Chase Podsiad, SR, Defenseman, Army West Point
2009 - Mike Phillipich, SR. Forward, U.S. Air Force Academy
2010 - Jordan Pietrus, SR, Forward, Brown University
2011 - Kyle Schmidt, SR, Forward, University of Minnesota-Duluth
2012 - Bobby Farnham, SR, Forward, Brown University
2013 - Kyle Murphy, SR, Forward, Providence College
2014 - Brice O'Connor, SR, Defenseman, University of Maine
2015 - P.J. Musico, SR. Goaltender, Penn State University
2016 - Matt Vidal, SR. Forward, College of the Holy Cross
2017 - Aidan Cavallini, SR. Forward, University of Wisconsin
2018 - Dylan Abood, SR, Defenseman, U.S. Air Force Academy