If you’re a sports fan, you know about the NCAA basketball tournament that beckons onlookers of all sorts to guess who will win, round by round, by filling out ill-fated brackets.
It’s all about unpredictability and underdogs. The favorites don’t always win and that’s what makes it fun.
So here at The Hockey News, we decided to get in on the action. Taking the lead of the amazing “Name of the Year Tournament” that caught our attention many moons ago, we decided to make hockey’s own version of the game. After scouring rosters from leagues all over the map – from the British Columbia Junior League to the German League and beyond – we have narrowed our list down to the 64 best active names in the hockey world and put them on display for you to vote on the ultimate champion.
Starting March 26, our name tournament opened up to your voting and after six rounds, we are left with out ultimate name: Kane Lafranchise. Ranked as a No. 4 seed in the opening brackets, Lafranchise took down Ryan Thang, Hunter Shinkaruk, Jagger Dirk, Kale Kerbashian, Godric Tham and, in the final, Wacey Rabbit. The last round of voting was close, with Lafranchise taking it 52 percent to 48 percent.
An undrafted member of the ECHL's Alaska Aces, Lafranchise, a defenseman, scored three goals and 34 points in 69 games this season. The 23-year-old Edmonton native is in his second season with the team after spending three years at the University of Alaska-Anchorage and two seaosn with the Spruce Grove Saints of the AJHL.
At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, it remains to be seen whether or not he has a future at the NHL level - though the odds appear long - but one thing is now for sure: through your votes, Kane Lafranchise is hockey's best active name.