Dion Knelsen, one of two CCHA players named to
list of 10 finalists for national honor
Alaska Nanooks senior forward and former Drumheller Dragon Dion Knelsen has been named as one of 10 finalists for the 2010 Men’s Ice Hockey division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS (Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School) Award.
Nationwide balloting begins immediately to determine the winner. Lowe’s, an official corporate partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award™ winner in April at the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four® in Detroit, Michigan.
The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award encourages student-athletes to use their platform in college athletics to make a positive impact on their circle of influence
Finalists were selected from a list of 20 candidates based on personal qualities that define a complete student athlete. The criteria to determine the top 10 included areas of the classroom, character and community in addition to performance on the hockey rink during this season.
These 10 names will be placed on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award hockey ballot for a nationwide vote beginning today and concluding March 16. Fan balloting is available on the award’s official Web site, http://www.seniorCLASSaward.com, as well as through text messaging. Fans can text H5 to 74567 to vote for Dion Knelsen. Fan balloting counts for 1/3 of the total with the remaining 2/3 determined by NCAA Division I coaches and national media members.
“The hockey finalists have spent almost four years perfecting their game on the ice,” said Tom Lamb, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing. “We commend their pursuit of perfection in the rink but also their emphasis on getting a college degree and preparing for life after their senior year.”
Knelsen, a business administration major at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is also one of 18 nominees for the Hockey Humanitarian Award. He maintains a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in the classroom and is second on the team in scoring with 12 goals and 23 assists through 26 games this year. Last weekend at Northern Michigan, Knelsen scored his 100th career point becoming just the 28th player in Alaska Hockey history to eclipse the mark.
Off the ice, the four-year letterman has participated in “Nooks for Books” by reading at local elementary schools to young students. He has volunteered with Sports Night at the Denali Center, which is Fairbanks’ assisted living home for senior citizens. Other community efforts include volunteering time with Big Brothers Big Sisters and going to work with Habitat for Humanity.
In 2008-09, he was a volunteer with Connie Seekins’ therapeutic riding program that offered handicapped individuals the opportunity to ride horses on a weekly basis. Additionally, he is a sponsor for one child in the Dominican Republic, while also serving as a co-sponsor of a second child along with his teammates.
Knelsen is the third Alaska Nanook to make the list of 10 finalists in the award’s four-years of existence. Former forwards Trevor Hyatt and Curtis Fraser made the cut in 2009 and 2007, respectively. Both players went on to earn Lowe’s All-Senior All-America Second Team honors.