COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Dubuque Fighting Saints forward Zach Solow (Naples, Fla./Northeastern University) was named by USA Hockey as the Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year Award winner for the 2016–17 season. Solow, whose career in Dubuque has concluded after two seasons, will be moving on to the college ranks to join Northeastern University next season.
Solow, who ended the season as the league’s leading scorer, was one of the USHL’s most electrifying players during the season. For his efforts, he was named the USHL Forward of the Year, won USHL Forward of the Week once, represented the Eastern Conference at the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in February, and won the gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge with Team USA in December.
“It’s a great honor, and it’s an awesome award. I definitely would not have been able to do this without the support of my teammates, coaches and family,” Solow said. “It’s a nice award to put on my resume, but I’m more focused on next year [at Northeastern] and getting better.”
His efforts garnered him a ranking on the final NHL Central Scouting list, which was released in April. Solow enters the 2017 NHL Draft ranked 183rd among North American skaters due to his continual showcase of consistency as one of the most productive forwards and two-way players in his age group. He scored a point in 46 of the 56 games he played in last season, or 82.1% of the time.
Between October 28 and January 27, Solow put forth a 20-game streak where he notched at least a point. The infamous #SolowStreak ended one game shy of current Pittsburgh Penguin forward, and former Sioux City Musketeer Jake Guentzel, and former Minnesota Wild draft pick and Des Moines Buccaneer Mike Erickson, by just one game, and Solow’s streak was the third-longest point streak in Tier-I history, according to the USHL.
“In Dubuque, I learned that preparation is essential, and that it’s important to go into every game with the same mindset and just try to compete as hard as you can while staying true and just being honest with yourself,” Solow added.
Solow finished his USHL career with 94 points in 95 games across two seasons. 9 of his 26 goals were game-winning goals (34.6%). He nearly tripled his point total from a season ago, as he notched 25 points in his debut season, and 69 in year two.
“We’re really impressed to see the growth in Zach’s game, and excited for him and his family and the time and effort that they put in for him to be not only a great player, but an excellent person,” said head coach/GM Jason Lammers. “He’s a Saint For Life, and someone who will do good things both on and off the ice, wherever his career may take him.”
He passed former Saint Vinny Saponari’s existing record for most assists in a single season, by setting the new record at 51. He finishes his career with the fifth-most points in new Fighting Saints history, trailing behind Zemgus Girgensons, who was drafted into the NHL by the Buffalo Sabres in 2012, San Jose Sharks 2016 draft selection Dylan Gambrell, former ranked skater Seamus Malone, and Shane Sooth, who signed a pro deal with the Quad City Mallards in 2017.