Aiken Selected as Player of the Year Finalist

High school hockey coaches selected WNS Storm defenseman Thomas Aiken as one of the top eight hockey players in the state.

Whitefish Bay High School senior Thomas Aiken is one of eight finalists in the running for the Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association Player of the Year award.

High school hockey coaches from around the state vote in the American Family Insurance/WHCA Player of the Year award, according to a news release on Wisconsin Prep Hockey. After the initial round of voting, members of the Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association have cut the list of players down to eight.

WNS Storm coach Maco Balkovec nominated Aiken for the honors, saying WHCA coaches will never see another player like him again.

"For the past three seasons, Thomas has been the hardest worker on the hockey team - always the first one on the ice and always the last one off the ice," Balkovec said in his nomination letter. "Never afraid to try to improve himself, he constantly asks me, “What do I need to do to get better?” He then commits to improving whatever minor weakness he may have and will do so again and again until that too becomes a strength."

Aiken was named Honorable Mention All-State last year, 2nd Team All-Area Milwaukee, and 1st Team All-Conference for the past 2 years. He currently leads the state in points for a defenseman with 51 points. He also leads the state with 42 assists in 25 games, Balkovec said.

In addition to being a star hockey player, Aiken is also the top of his high school class, carries a 4.167 GPA and is president of the school's National Honor Society Chapter, Student Council and the Wisconsin State High School Student Councils. He was also recently accepted to Harvard University, Balkovec said.

Other finalists include Kettle Moraine's Quinn Disrud, Homestead's Thomas Fazio, Marquette's Griff Jeszka, Verona's Zach Jones, Chequamegon Phillips' Joshua Lemke, Notre Dame Academy's Steven Phillips, and Hudson's Daniel Tripicchio.

The eight finalists will be honored at a banquet on Feb. 27. The winner of the award will also be announced at that banquet.


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