SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that left wing Patrick O’Sullivan of the Houston Aeros has been named the winner of the Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding rookie for the 2005-06 season, as voted by AHL players and media in each of the league’s 27 member cities.
O’Sullivan, a 21-year-old native of Winston-Salem, N.C., leads all AHL rookies and ranks tied for fifth overall with 87 points in 75 games for Houston in 2005-06. His 45 goals are good for third in the league, and are the most by an AHL rookie since 1991. O’Sullivan has scored 16 power-play goals and seven game-winning goals (tied for third overall), and ranks second in the league with 305 shots on goal for the Aeros, who have been in the hunt for the West Division title all season.
A second-round draft pick by the Minnesota Wild in 2003, O’Sullivan was named the Rbk Hockey/AHL Rookie of the Month for both January and February. He earned a spot on the 2005-06 AHL All-Rookie Team last week, and played for the PlanetUSA team at the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic.
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.
Previous winners of the Garrett Award include Terry Sawchuk (1949), Wally Hergesheimer (1951), 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), Donald Audette (1990), Felix Potvin (1992), Darcy Tucker (1996), Daniel Briere (1998), Mika Noronen (2000), Tyler Arnason (2002), Darren Haydar (2003), Wade Dubielewicz (2004) and Rene Bourque (2005).
In operation since 1936, the AHL is celebrating its historic 70th anniversary this season, and continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Over 80 percent of all NHL players today are AHL graduates, and more than 350 AHL players have been recalled to the NHL this season alone. Sixteen clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.