#NCDCAwards: Idaho Falls Spud Kings’ D.J. MacLeish Named 2023-24 Mountain Division Defenseman Of The Year

For Immediate Release


By Joshua Boyd / NCDCHockey.com 


The National Collegiate Development Conference is proud to announce that Idaho Falls Spud Kings defenseman D.J. MacLeish has been named the Mountain Division Defenseman Of The Year. 

MacLeish, an ‘05 from Troy, Mich., joined the Spud Kings right out of the prestigious Little Caesars 18U AAA program, with whom he made a trip to the 2023 USA Hockey National Championships. MacLeish signed on with the first-year NCDC Mountain Division team in Idaho Falls last year. He ended up scoring 19 goals and added 28 assists for 47 points in 58 games, which made him the only NCDC blueliner to lead his team in scoring. 

He led the NCDC in most goals scored by a defenseman, and also in game-winners from a defenseman with 5. MacLeish’s 24:25 was tops among Spud Kings in ice time, while his 60 hits, 224 shots on goal and 113 blocked shots also led the team. His +7 was good for second among the Spud Kings defensive corps, as were his 488 takeaways.  

“I want to express my sincere gratitude for the incredible honor of being named the Mountain Division Defenseman of the Year. It truly means the world to me, and I am humbled by the recognition from the division’s coaches,” said MacLeish, in an e-mailed statement. “As I reflect on my time with the Idaho Falls Spud Kings, I am filled with a sense of awe and appreciation. This journey has been more than just hockey; it has been a life-changing experience.” 

MacLeish was certainly full of gratitude for all those who helped make the award happen. 

“The Spud Kings Organization: From Day 1, I felt like part of a tight-knit family. The beautiful rink, the camaraderie among teammates, and the unwavering support from the entire organization made this season unforgettable. To the fans: Who would have thought that we’d have over 3000 passionate fans cheering us on at every game? The energy in the arena was electric, and their unwavering support fueled our determination,” said MacLeish. “To my billet family and roommate, thank you for opening your homes and hearts to me. Your warmth and encouragement provided the balance I needed while being away from home.

“My first junior coach, Coach Marty Quarters, believed in me from the start. He gave me the opportunity to shine, and for that, I owe him a huge shout-out. Sometimes, hockey is about seizing those chances, and he made it possible. To  Coach John Becanic, who stepped in mid-year, thank you for seamlessly taking the reins. Your guidance and leadership were invaluable, and I am grateful for your impact on our team,” MacLeish added. “To “Lastly, a big thank you to Joshua Rabbani, Erik Hudson and everyone who contributes behind the scenes. You make this entire experience possible, and your dedication does not go unnoticed,” he added. “In accepting this award, I do so with immense pride and a heart full of gratitude. The Spud Kings will forever hold a special place in my hockey journey, and I am honored to be part of this remarkable organization.”

The NCDC joins the Idaho Falls Spud Kings in congratulating D.J. MacLeish on being named the Mountain Division Defenseman Of The Year. 


About The NCDC

The National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC) was founded in 2017 as the Tuition-Free Tier II conference of the United States Premier Hockey League, itself founded in 2012. The NCDC consists of 18 teams in three divisions, two on the Eastern Seaboard and one in the Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Utah and Idaho.

The NCDC has sent more than 250 alumni to play NCAA Division I hockey, and more than 900 overall into NCAA college hockey. There were also more than 250 alumni in pro hockey around the world during the 2023-24 season. Former NCDC player Drew O’Connor has become a regular with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, Collin Graf recently signed and has played with the San Jose Sharks, and there have been seven players selected in the NHL Entry Draft from the NCDC.