UTICA, N.Y. - The Utica Comets named Carter Bancks as their IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award recipient for his contributions to the community in the 2019-20 season, announced Monday by the American Hockey League.
It is the second time Bancks, the team's captain, has earned this award, also receiving the honor in the 2015-16 season.
"It's a great honor," said Bancks via FaceTime video chat with NEWSChannel 2. "I have always been really proud of the work that we have done with the Comets in the community and it has been a pleasure to be a part of."
A mainstay on the Comets roster since the 2014-15 season, Bancks has worn the 'C' on his jersey for the past four seasons, since 2016-17, previously serving as an alternate captain in 2015-16.
"[Utica] has been an incredibly special place for me," he said. "We have had some amazing times, my family has been there, my wife was living with me there this year which was awesome. Just the whole community, the whole fan base, the organization from top to bottom, from coaching staff to teammates, the groups we've had, it's been amazing and I've had an absolute blast.
"Being in the community and getting the chance to play in front of these people for six years, it's been something that's been really special."
A ten-year pro, he debuted with the Abbotsford Heat in 2009-10, before playing in Utica for the past six seasons. He has appeared in 591 regular season games in the AHL, where he has 172 points.
According to the Comets, Bancks has volunteered and attended more off-ice appearances than any other player this year.
"There are lots of guys in the dressing room that have put a lot of time in over the years and the community has completely embraced us and made us feel very welcome," he said. "We try to do everything we can to just give back for everything we have been given by Utica."
He and the other 30 AHL Man of the Year individual team award recipients are now finalists for the 2019-20 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the league's overall Man of the Year.
That award is named after a former AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a battle with Leukemia.
The winner will be announced at a later date.