Best Aero Houston 2011 - Jed Ortmeyer
Readers' Choice: Readers' Choice: Matt Kassian
Nothing about the October through December 2010 version of the Houston Aeros hinted at its thrilling Calder Cup championship run. Even when the club brought Jed Ortmeyer aboard on New Year's Day, the American Hockey League franchise looked to be one of the many middling minor-league clubs of North America. However, thanks to the veteran leadership of the 34-year-old right winger, who did all of the stat-sheet-less things that many hockey players just aren't willing to do, the Aeros nearly won it all. (The team eventually fell to the Binghamton Senators, four games to two, in the Calder Cup Finals.) What made Ortmeyer's contributions even more impressive is the fact that dude almost died in 2006 from pulmonary embolism, a medical condition that can cause frequent blood clotting and one that he still suffers from today.