Alumnus Ryan Botterill earns USHL Award

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The United States Hockey League and the Youngstown Phantoms announced Wednesday that forward Ryan Botterill has been named the recipient of the 2023-24 USHL Curt Hammer Award.
The Curt Hammer Award has been presented annually since the 1988–89 season to a player who distinguishes himself both on and off the ice throughout the course of the season by demonstrating outstanding performance, leadership, pride and determination.

“Ryan Botterill embodies what we want our Phantom players to be,” said Youngstown Head Coach Ryan Ward. “On the ice, Ryan is a tireless worker who makes his teammates better. He came in as a first-year player and has led our team in scoring, which is no easy feat in this league. Off the ice Ryan has connected with our fans and is always the first to volunteer in the community, which is what we are all about. We want the Phantoms, the City of Youngstown, and the greater Mahoning Valley to be intricately connected. Ryan spends his summer working alongside children with special needs and clearly puts others above himself, all while excelling as a student-athlete. It has been a pleasure to coach Ryan, and I cannot wait to see him go on and live his dreams. Ryan makes this world a better place and we are all better people for having had Ryan in our lives.

Committed to the University of Wisconsin, Botterill spent time as a kettle bell ringer for the Salvation Army while he was at home in Manitoba over Christmas break. Involved in community outreach programs, the Portage, Man., native worked in schools as a positive role model for “at risk” youth in grades K-4. He also volunteered as a “special needs” buddy at PCI-Life Skills High School in Manitoba. Not just in the classroom, but going on walks with the kids, going swimming, teaching basic life skills, and even helping one of the students with his morning paper route.

“The Youngstown Phantoms organization is so proud of Ryan being chosen for the Curt Hammer award,” said Ryan Kosecki, Youngstown General Manager and VP Hockey Ops. “His award just exemplifies what an amazing person Ryan is off the ice. In just one short year Ryan will go down as one of the greatest Phantoms of all time. He was our leading scorer on the ice, but his impact off the ice will be felt in our community for years to come. When he wasn’t at the rink for a game or practice, he was out in the community giving a hand whenever and wherever he could. Whether it was helping local charities, or working with the youth Phantoms hockey program, Ryan was there to help. Ryan Botterill truly exemplifies what it means to be a Youngstown Phantom.”

The second player from Youngstown to receive the Curt Hammer Award (Mike Ambrosia won the award in 2012), Botterill led the Phantoms in scoring this year with 55 points on 29 goals and 26 assists. He tied for third in the USHL with seven game-winning goals, his 29 goals tied for 12th in the USHL and his +21 rating tied for 21st.