AHL announces award winners for December

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Chicago Wolves forward Josh Leivo, Charlotte Checkers forward Cole Schwindt and Stockton Heat goaltender Dustin Wolf have been selected as the league’s award winners for December.

Leivo, the AHL Player of the Month, totaled four goals and 10 assists for 14 points in six games for Chicago in December.

Leivo more than doubled his offensive output for the season during a 12-day stretch, beginning when he notched a goal, an assist and 10 shots on goal in the Wolves’ 4-0 win at Iowa on Dec. 5. He set a career high with five points (two goals, three assists) as Chicago earned an 8-4 victory at Texas on Dec. 9, and came back with an assist in a 4-3 overtime win on Dec. 11 before his three-assist effort helped the Wolves to a 7-2 victory on Dec. 12 and a sweep of their three-game visit to the Stars. Leivo then capped a three-point night on Dec. 16 vs. Manitoba by scoring with 1.1 seconds left in regulation to give Chicago a 4-3 win.

Leivo has recorded six goals and 13 assists for 19 points in 15 games with Chicago along with one assist in three NHL games with Carolina this season, his ninth pro campaign. The native of Innisfil, Ont., has skated in 186 regular-season contests in the AHL with Chicago and Toronto, tallying 57 goals and 86 assists for 143 points. He has added 27 points in 35 Calder Cup Playoff games, and participated in the AHL All-Star Classic in 2016.

Leivo was originally a third-round choice by Toronto in the 2011 NHL Draft and has compiled 37 goals and 38 assists for 75 points in 210 career NHL games with Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Carolina.

Schwindt, the AHL Rookie of the Month, tallied two goals and eight assists for 10 points in eight games for Charlotte during December.

Schwindt opened the month with a two-assist effort in the Checkers’ 5-3 win at Lehigh Valley on Dec. 3, then notched a goal and an assist as Charlotte earned a 3-2 victory at Bridgeport on Dec. 5. He scored during the Checkers’ four-goal third period to help secure a 5-3 win over Syracuse on Dec. 11, and he ran his scoring streak to six games by notching two assists in an 11-1 decision over Rochester on Dec. 14. Schwindt earned a recall from the Florida Panthers and made his NHL debut on Dec. 16, then returned to Charlotte and completed a stretch of five games in six days by picking up assists in back-to-back games vs. Bridgeport on Dec. 18 and 19.

A third-round choice by Florida in the 2019 NHL Draft, Schwindt has registered nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points in 27 games for Charlotte this season, and is tied for the lead among league rookies with a plus-16 rating. The 20-year-old native of Kitchener, Ont., made his pro debut with Syracuse last season, recording one goal and one assist in 10 games.

Wolf, the AHL Goaltender of the Month, was a perfect 7-0-0 in seven starts during December, allowing only 10 goals on 204 shots for a 1.40 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage.

Wolf stopped 23 of 24 shots in Stockton’s 4-1 win over San Diego on Dec. 3, then made 36 saves a night later as the Heat earned a 3-2 victory in a rematch with the Gulls. After wins vs. San Jose on Dec. 7 and at Tucson on Dec. 11, Wolf made 30 saves – including six in the overtime period – and stopped both shootout attempts to give Stockton a 2-1 win over Bakersfield on Dec. 15. He turned aside 26 of 28 shots in each of the Heat’s victories over Colorado on Dec. 17 and Dec. 18, and got his first taste of the NHL when he dressed as Calgary’s back-up for their game at Seattle on Dec. 30.

Wolf, who has allowed two goals or fewer in each start during his current 10-game winning streak, remains unbeaten in regulation this season with a record of 15-0-2 in 17 appearances, and ranks third in the AHL with a 1.79 GAA and second with a .942 save percentage for the Western Conference-leading Heat. The 20-year-old native of Gilroy, Calif., was a seventh-round choice by Calgary in the 2019 NHL Draft and was named the Canadian Hockey League’s goaltender of the year in 2019-20 playing for Everett (WHL).