OMAHA, NE. – The Omaha Lancers are proud to announce that the United States Hockey League has selected Lancers’ Forward, Michael Cameron to receive the 2022 Curt Hammer Award.
The Curt Hammer Award has been presented annually since 1989 in honor of the late Curt Hammer, recognizing a USHL player who distinguishes himself both on and off the ice by demonstrating outstanding skills, pride and determination.
Curt Hammer served as President of the Des Moines Buccaneers from 1984-87, as well as held the role of Secretary for the USHL. Hammer was a volunteer and supporter to the Des Moines and Buccaneer community during his time in the league until succumbing to cancer in 1987. The Curt Hammer Award is presented to allow his memory to live on, encourage players around the league to develop on the ice in a positive way, as well as off the ice within the community.
Cameron is the first Lancer to be presented this award since the 1990-91 season when Brent Cary shared the honor with Beau Bilek of the Des Moines Buccaneers. Carey played two seasons in Omaha, one of which he was named Captain. He later went on to have a successful five-year playing career at the University of Denver, including serving as Assistant Captain his last three years.
Cameron was on the Lancers’ roster for three seasons, starting in the 2019-20 season. Throughout his career, he appeared in 113 games, racking up 50 points in the process. The 2021-22 season was a breakout year for Cameron, tacking up 18 goals and 18 assists for a total of 36 points through 54 games played. Those statistics put him in second place on the Lancers’ squad for point-getting, only trailing teammate, Morgan Winters with 37 points on the year.
The impressive offensive play continued into the Lancers’ playoff run as he picked up four points in four games in the form of one goal and three assists, which played a critical role in the Lancers winning their first playoff series since 2010.
The experience in Omaha for Cameron had consisted of a good deal of community service. With him being eager to get out into the community and make a difference, he did service multiple times in the 2021-22 season alone. Including going to Boys Town National Research Hospital in downtown Omaha to meet with many children fighting a variety of conditions and those recovering from lifesaving surgeries.
The most notable impact Cameron made on the community was the joint effort between the Lancers and the entire Cameron family, presenting Michael Cameron’s Diabetic Buddy of the Game. With Cameron living with type one diabetes, he was able to meet and interact with a different child living with the same condition. The Diabetic Buddy would get to view warm-ups from the team bench, as well as talk and get a picture with Michael prior to the end of the warm-up period. Following the start of the game, the photo would then be presented on the big screen in the arena during a first period media timeout, telling the story of the Diabetic Buddy and allowing time for the crowd to give the child a standing ovation.
The Diabetic Buddy of the Game attracted attention from a local Omaha news network, WOWT, who came out to Liberty First Credit Union Arena to shoot a feature story spreading awareness for type one diabetics everywhere.
Cameron’s future will consist of him attending and playing division one college hockey at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst where he will represent the Minutemen well and continue to impress the Lancers’ community. Cameron will also be playing alongside now former Omaha Lancers’ Defenseman, Kennedy O’Connor.
“I am proud and honored to receive the Curt Hammer Award. I would like to thank the Omaha Lancers for giving me the opportunity to get involved in the community and make a difference over my three years in Omaha. I have had great experiences during my time in junior hockey that I will hold with me for the rest of my life.” -Curt Hammer Award Winner, Michael Cameron
“Our family has been so blessed to have had the opportunity to host Michael for the past three seasons. He is a remarkable young man who exemplifies what it means to be an Omaha Lancer. He is a strong leader on and off the ice and has proudly raised type one diabetes awareness in our Omaha youth community. We will miss him tremendously and he will always be considered family.” -Michael Cameron’s Host Mom, Annie Distefano