The ECHL on Wednesday announced that Les Lancaster of the Allen Americans is the ECHL Defenseman of the Year for 2020-21 as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media members.
The ECHL Defenseman of the Year award is presented annually to the defensive player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability in the position.
Samuel Jardine of Greenville finished second, followed by Allen’s Matt Register, Dean Stewart of Wichita and Indy’s Willie Raskob.
The winner of the Goaltender of the Year award will be announced on Thursday.
Named to the All-ECHL First Team last week, Lancaster led all league defensemen in goals (26) and points (64) and he was tied for third in assists (38). Those totals were tied for seventh, fifth and tied for sixth overall in the league respectively. He also ranked first among blueliners with 10 power-play goals, four game-winning goals and 189 shots on goal, and was tied for first with 26 power-play points.
Lancaster’s 26 goals are tied for the third most by a defenseman in a single-season in ECHL history, and the most goals scored by a blueliner since Louisiana’s Chris Valicevic tallied 27 times in the 1999-2000 season.
Lancaster has recorded 91 points (31g-60a) in 106 career ECHL games with Allen while adding one assist in nine career American Hockey League games with Iowa, San Antonio and Stockton.
ECHL Defenseman of the Year Award Winners2020-21 Les Lancaster, Allen Americans2019-20 Alex Breton, Allen Americans2018-19 Eric Knodel, Cincinnati Cyclones2017-18 Matt Register, Colorado Eagles2016-17 Matt Register, Colorado Eagles2015-16 Mathew Maione, Wheeling Nailers2014-15 Mike Little, Florida Everblades2013-14 Matt Register, Ontario Reign2012-13 Sacha Guimond, Gwinnett Gladiators2011-12 Aaron Schneekloth, Colorado Eagles2010-11 Eric Regan, Elmira Jackals2009-10 J.C. Sawyer, Toledo Walleye2008-09 Dylan Yeo, Victoria Salmon Kings2007-08 Peter Metcalf, Alaska Aces2006-07 Jon Awe, Gwinnett Gladiators2005-06 Ryan Gaucher, Alaska Aces2004-05 Ray DiLauro, Wheeling Nailers2003-04 Corey Neilson, Pensacola Ice Pilots2002-03 Jim Baxter, Mississippi Sea Wolves2001-02 Duncan Dalmao, Roanoke Express2000-01 Tom Nemeth, Dayton Bombers1999-00 Tom Nemeth, Dayton Bombers1998-99 Chris Valicevic, Louisiana IceGators1997-98 Chris Valicevic, Louisiana IceGators1996-97 Chris Valicevic, Louisiana IceGators1995-96 Chris Valicevic, Louisiana IceGators1994-95 Brandon Smith, Dayton Bombers1993-94 Tom Nemeth, Dayton Bombers1992-93 Derek Booth, Toledo Storm1991-92 Scott White, Greensboro Monarchs1990-91 Brett MacDonald, Nashville Knights1989-90 Bill Whitfield, Virginia Lancers1988-89 Kelly Szauter, Erie Panthers