The San Antonio Rampage are proud to announce that Eric Neilson has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the San Antonio community during the 2010-11 season.
Neilson is known for his tough, gritty exterior when he steps onto the ice but it is his upbeat attitude and infectious personality off the ice that have captured the hearts of fans across San Antonio. He is the first to volunteer to participate in activities and to lend a helping hand. On nights he is scratched from the lineup, Neilson is heard on the radio calling the shots alongside Rampage broadcaster Dan Weiss.
Neilson has become a pillar in the San Antonio community through his involvement with the Face-Off Against Kids Cancer program, San Antonio Food Bank and Rampage season ticket holder events, to name a few. He gets a personal joy out of sharing his knowledge and hockey abilities and frequently stops in on Jr. Rampage (youth hockey) practices without notice. He is not someone who simply goes through the motions but one who genuinely cares about the activities he is participating in and the people around him. Neilson is a true role model and shows all the qualities of what a great teammate and person should embody.
Neilson is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2010-11 Yanick Dupre 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 Dupre Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League in the coming weeks.