Hat Tricks Announce 2023-24 Team Award Winners

by Herm Sorcher

DANBURY — The Danbury Hat Tricks are proud to announce the Team Award recipients for the 2023-24 season. The winners were voted on by the public.

Rookie of the Year: Corey Cunningham

Danbury’s second-leading goal scorer (23), Corey Cunningham currently ranks second on the team in power-play goals (7) and fifth in points (42). Through the first 34 games of his professional career, the Prince George, British Columbia native has notched two hat tricks (March 15 & Dec. 9) and two four-point efforts (March 15 & Jan. 5).

Before joining Danbury, Cunningham, 22, suited up for SUNY Geneseo (2022-23) after playing in the BCHL for the Prince George Spruce Kings from 2017-21 and the Trail Smoke Eaters from 2021-22.

Defensive Player of the Year: Jarod Yau

The veteran defenseman has played in 88 FPHL games in his two year pro career, all with the Hat Tricks. In 36 games this season, the Richmond, BC, Canada native has accumulated nine goals and 14 assists, along with a +/- of +11.

The 6-foot d-man is best know for his shot-blocking ability and all-in mentality, going above and beyond on the ice and sacrificing his body for the betterment of the team.

The 23-year-old previously played with the Grandview Steelers (PIJHL), in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. During his five years with the team (2017-22), Yau played 162 regular season games (24-71-95, 339 PIM) before transitioning to the FPHL.

Fan Favorite: Zachary Pamaylaon

The second-year utility player has suited up in 48 games with Danbury this season tallying 22 points (6g, 16a). ZP, the first Hawaiian-born male professional hockey player, won the Hat Trick Award last year and is the coach for the Danbury Hat Tricks 14u boys team.

Pamaylaon started his professional career with the Hat Tricks last season. The Aiea, Hawaii native put up nine goals and 18 assists in 55 regular and postseason games. The 28-year-old played three seasons at Division III Bryn Athyn College (2017-18 – 2029-20) and one year with the school’s ACHA II squad as the captain (2021-22).

Hat Tricks Award: Xavier Abdella, Zachary Pamaylaon, and Jarod Yau

Abdella is best known for his assist on the game-winning and cup-clinching goal in game five of the Commissioner's Cup Finals last season. X has appeared in 88 FPHL games, 85 with Danbury. The steady defenseman is relied upon in late-game, must-win situations and has delivered time and time again. Additionally, the 26-year-old is a well-known contributing member to the Danbury community.

Prior to joining the FPHL, the Albany, New York native played hockey at Wilkes University from 2018-2022.

Offensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player: Jonny Ruiz

Now a three-time Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year recipient and two-time Fan Favorite Award winner Jonny Ruiz currently ranks 4th in the league in points (72) and goals (36), and 2nd in power play goals (11). The Hat Tricks’ captain paces the group in goals, assists (36), points, power play goals, shorthanded goals (4), game-winning goals (6), and +/- (+16).  The Williamstown, New Jersey native is the all-time Danbury Hockey leader in goals (145), assists (121), and points (266) and played in his 200th FPHL game on Feb. 16, 2024. Ruiz is the Hat Tricks' single-season leader in goals (39) and points (85) and is second in assists (36).

During his career in the FPHL, with Danbury and Elmira, Ruiz has tallied 155 goals, 127 assists, and 282 points. Ruiz played collegiately at Johnson and Wales University (2015-17) and UMASS-Dartmouth (2017-19). He was captain his senior season at UMASS-Dartmouth.

The Hat Tricks are in the playoffs and we want you to be a part of our cup defense! Playoff tickets are on sale now! Secure a comprehensive playoff ticket package for just $66 or go game-by-game with our single-game ticket option! Click here for more information or call Herm Sorcher at (973) 713-7547 to secure your tickets today! Don't miss the excitement of the playoffs—get your tickets now and join us in supporting the Danbury Hat Tricks!

To stay up to date on all things Danbury Hat Tricks hockey, go to www.danburyhattricks.com and follow the team on social media.