Linus Ullmark won the Vezina Trophy as the National Hockey League’s outstanding goaltender in 2022-23, one of several AHL alumni honored at the NHL Awards ceremony in Nashville on Monday night.
Ullmark, who led the NHL in goals-against average (1.89) and save percentage (.938) while posting a 40-6-1 record for the Boston Bruins, played 127 games over three seasons with the AHL’s Rochester Americans and appeared in the AHL All-Star Classic in 2017 and 2018.
Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks captured his third James Norris Memorial Trophy, given to the NHL’s top defenseman. Karlsson, who became the first NHL defenseman in 31 years to record 100 points in a season, was 19 years old when he skated for the AHL’s Binghamton Senators in 2009-10.
Ullmark and Karlsson also earned spots on the First All-Star Team, along with fellow AHL alumni David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins and Jason Robertson of the Dallas Stars. Boston’s Hampus Lindholm and Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl were named to the Second All-Star Team.
Boston’s Patrice Bergeron won the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the sixth time, recognizing “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.” Bergeron spent the 2004-05 season in the AHL as a 19-year-old, collecting 61 points in 68 games for the Providence Bruins.
Jim Montgomery was voted the winner of the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s outstanding coach after leading Boston to a 65-12-5 record, the best mark in league history. During his playing career, Montgomery skated in 451 games in the American Hockey League and won a Calder Cup championship with Philadelphia in 1998.
Calgary Flames forward Mikael Backlund received the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership on and off the ice. Backlund, a member of the Flames organization since being drafted by Calgary in 2007, played 55 games in the AHL for the Abbotsford Heat.
The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy was awarded to Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, voted the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Letang, a veteran of more than 1,000 NHL games, began his rookie season with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2007-08.
Stuart Skinner of the Edmonton Oilers and Matias Maccelli of the Arizona Coyotes were selected to the NHL All-Rookie Team. Skinner was 62-35-12 with eight shutouts in 113 AHL appearances for the Bakersfield Condors from 2018 to 2022, while Maccelli notched 57 points in 47 games for the Tucson Roadrunners last season.
All told, nearly 90 percent of all National Hockey League players in 2022-23 were graduates of the American Hockey League, including 375 players who skated in both leagues over the course of the season.