Zac Leslie

The Heat’s Zac Leslie was named AHL Man of the Year.

The Stockton Heat announced April 6 that Zac Leslie has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Stockton community during the 2019-20 season.

Leslie’s leadership, dedication and initiative create a meaningful impact in the community, extending the Heat’s presence in the greater Stockton community. In Leslie’s first season in Stockton, the defenseman orchestrated several community programs, including kicking off the first “Into the Fire” Stockton Colts Youth Hockey Clinic. Additionally, Leslie helped spearhead a team effort to purchase gifts for kids in need during the holiday season, through the organization’s participation in the Angel Tree Program.

The Ottawa, Ontario native frequently made visits to local elementary schools in the Stockton Unified School District as part of the third season of the Heat’s Get in the Game – Read! Literacy Program.

As an alternate captain, Leslie prides himself on developing impactful relationships with teammates and instilling a hardworking culture on and off the ice. Leslie’s connections extend beyond the dressing room, connecting with fans through his generosity in the community.

This honor marks the first nomination for the 26-year-old.

Leslie is now one of 31 finalists for the AHL’s 2019-20 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 American Hockey League will announce the winner of the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award at a later date.

–Brandon Weiss