Adam named AHL rookie of the year

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that forward Luke Adam of the Portland Pirates has been named the winner of the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding rookie for the 2010-11 season, as voted by AHL coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 30 member cities.

Adam, a second-round draft choice by the Buffalo Sabres in 2008, ranks among the AHL’s rookie leaders with 28 goals (1st), 32 assists (tied for 3rd), 60 points (2nd) and a plus-22 rating (2nd) in 54 games for Portland this season. The 20-year-old native of St. John’s, N.L., began the season with two goals and two assists in an opening-night win over Manchester on Oct. 9, the first of his 16 multiple-point efforts on the year, and his 11-game scoring streak from Feb. 26 to Mar. 22 was the longest by an AHL rookie forward since 2005. Adam made his National Hockey League debut with Buffalo on Oct. 26 and has totaled three goals and one assist in 19 NHL games with the Sabres.

This award, which was first presented by the AHL in 1947, honors the late Dudley (Red) Garrett, a promising young player who lost his life during World War II while serving in the Royal Canadian Navy. Garrett split his only pro season, 1942-43, between the AHL’s Providence Reds and the NHL’s New York Rangers.

Adam becomes the third consecutive Portland skater to win the Garrett Award, following Nathan Gerbe in 2008-09 and Tyler Ennis in 2009-10. Other previous winners of the Garrett Award include Terry Sawchuk (1949), Wally Hergesheimer (1951), Jimmy Anderson (1955), Bill Sweeney (1958), Roger Crozier (1964), Gerry Desjardins (1968), Rick Middleton (1974), Darryl Sutter (1980), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), Steve Thomas (1985), Ron Hextall (1986), Brett Hull (1987), Felix Potvin (1992), Darcy Tucker (1996), Daniel Briere (1998), Darren Haydar (2003), Rene Bourque (2005), Patrick O’Sullivan (2006), Brett Sterling (2007) and Teddy Purcell (2008).

Celebrating its historic 75th anniversary season in 2010-11, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 85 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. The 2010-11 season ends on Apr. 10, and 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.