Sjodahl, Kiraly and Russell honored by NAHL

Odessa, TX (April 27, 2016) – The Odessa Jackalopes, proud members of the North American Hockey League, are honored to announce that forward Hampus Sjodahl, 20, has been named the NAHL South Division Most Valuable Player of the Year, South Division Forward of the year and a member of the All-South Team. Also, defenseman Danny Kiraly, 20, has been named to the All-South Team and first year Jack’ Jon Russell, 18, earned the South’s Academic Achievement Award for his outstanding work in the classroom.

Sjodahl, who is committed to Bemidji State University (WCHA, D1), turned in arguably the greatest single season by a Jackalope in junior team history. Sjodahl’s 35 goals, 69 points, and plus-16 rating were all single-season franchise records. The Stockholm, SWE, native (6-2/197) completed the 2015-16 year 2nd in the league in goals and 3rd in points and at one time had points in 18 of 19 (16-12-28) games from February 5 – March 1.

Kiraly also set blue line Jacks single season benchmarks in multiple categories. The Glendale, AZ, native and Alaska-Fairbanks commit (WCHA, D1) set single-season records for goals (12), assists (28), points (40) and power-play goals (6). Kiraly (6-1/190) wrapped up the season 4th among d-men in the league in points and tied for 1st with Fairbanks' Jakob Stridsberg in goals among defense.

Kiraly said of his nomination, “It’s an honor to be selected to the team, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. Coach Gatto also really helped me with my game this year so I have to thank him as well."

“Danny and Hampus were huge pieces to our success this season,” said Head Coach Greg Gatto. “They both deserve all the recognition they receive and we look forward to watching them succeed at the college level.”

Russell, who is committed to the Harvard University (ECACHL, D1), had a 4.0 GPA throughout high school. The first year Jack tallied four goals and 12 assists (4-12-16) in 41 games played with a minus-nine rating and 37 penalty minutes (PIM). The Traverse City, MI, native (5-11/170) began the season with the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) where he appeared in 5 games recording zero points and a minus-one rating.

“I’m honored to get this award. I take my schooling seriously, and I’m thankful for the Jacks. They (Jacks) provided me the time and resources to excel in the rink as well as the classroom,” said Russell.

“Jon was a great addition from the USHL and key contributor on the penalty kill,” said Gatto. “ We are proud of his accomplishments both on and off the ice.”

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