By: Mallards Communications Staff

The Quad City Mallards’ Drew Kitts has won the 2015-16 ECHL Equipment Manager of the Year Award presented by CCM Hockey, the Mallards announced today in conjunction with the ECHL.

Kitts, who won a vote of the league’s equipment managers and athletic trainers, has been the Mallards' head equipment manager since the team returned in 2009 and before that spent two seasons as assistant equipment manager for the American Hockey League’s Quad City Flames.

“I am flattered and honored that I was chosen by the other equipment managers in the ECHL for this award, especially because there are some outstanding equipment managers in our league,” said Kitts. “I'd first like to thank my wife Azure and my daughter Mila for their understanding and continued support. I'd also like to thank our athletic trainer Jon Piche and our assistants and stick boys- including Tom Carroll, Travis Kerr and Jake Reed- for all the help they have given me over the last couple of years. My thanks also go to our coach Terry Ruskowski and the entire Mallards organization for giving me the chance to continue to do what I love.”

Kitts is a veteran of two decades as either a head or assistant equipment manager in the professional ranks. Before arriving in the Quad Cities, the Knoxville, Tennessee, native acted as either head or assistant equipment manager for the Knoxville Cherokees of the ECHL, the Knoxville Ice Bears of the Southern Professional Hockey League, the Saginaw Gears and Knoxville Speed of the United Hockey League and the Huntsville ChannelCats of the Central Hockey League.

“Drew is a true professional who is very diligent and always well prepared, who always thinks of the team first and who is just a great person work with and be around,” said Ruskowski. “It’s gratifying and a great tribute to Drew to see that rest of the ECHL’s equipment managers recognize his accomplishments. We’re proud he is part of our organization: he is the first one in and stays until everything is done properly. As a coach, having someone like Drew who gets the job done right whenever I ask something of him is a great help. My congratulations to Drew, who is to be commended for earning this award.”

The Mallards will open their twentieth season in the Quad Cities on Friday, October 14 at 7:05 p.m. against the Fort Wayne Komets at the iWireless Center. Mallards 2016-17 season tickets are now available. Season ticket holders enjoy significant savings of the walk-up ticket price and receive a host of exclusive benefits. For more season ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at 309-277-1364 or

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