AHL announces award winners for February

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Belleville Senators forward Josh Norris, San Diego Gulls forward Max Comtois and Iowa Wild goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen have been selected as the league’s award winners for February.

Norris, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month, scored seven goals and totaled 16 points in nine games for Belleville last month.

Norris began February by tallying a goal and two assists in the Senators’ 5-4 overtime win at Laval on Feb. 1. He notched a goal and an assist in a 7-4 win over Toronto on Feb. 7, and recorded two more assists in a 3-2 OT victory over Laval on Feb. 8. Following a two-point effort against Toronto on Feb. 15, Norris posted two goals and an assist each in a 5-2 win over Syracuse on Feb. 17 and a 3-2 overtime victory at Rochester on Feb. 19. Norris was recalled by Ottawa and made his debut with the parent Senators on Feb. 22, appearing in the first three NHL contests of his career before the end of the month.

A first-round pick (19th overall) by San Jose in the 2017 NHL Draft, Norris leads all AHL rookies with 30 goals and 58 points in 52 games for Belleville this season. The 20-year-old native of Oxford, Mich., turned pro this year after two seasons at the University of Michigan and represented the United States at the IIHF World Junior Championships in 2018 (bronze) and 2019 (silver). Norris was acquired by Ottawa in a trade with the Sharks on Sept. 13, 2018.

Comtois, the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month, registered eight goals – including four game-winning tallies – and five assists for 13 points in 13 games for San Diego during February.

Comtois kicked off a five-game goal-scoring streak on Feb. 15 with a tally in the Gulls’ 5-2 win at Iowa. He recorded a goal and an assist on Feb. 17 as San Diego erased a late deficit and earned a point in a 3-2 overtime loss at Stockton, and his goal provided the final margin in a 3-2 win over the Heat on Feb. 19. Comtois netted another winning goal in a 4-1 victory at Bakersfield on Feb. 21 and registered two goals and an assist for his first career three-point night as the Gulls downed San Jose, 6-3, on Feb. 22. Comtois notched a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win at Stockton on Feb. 28 before closing out the month with the overtime winner in a 4-3 decision at San Jose on Feb. 29.

Comtois has totaled nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points in 27 AHL contests this season with San Diego – which is 14-0-2-0 when he records a point – to go along with five goals and six assists in 29 NHL games with the parent Anaheim Ducks. The 21-year-old rookie from Longueuil, Que., was a second-round selection by the Ducks in the 2017 NHL Draft, and helped San Diego reach the Western Conference Finals in 2019 with nine points in 12 postseason games after concluding his junior career in the QMJHL.

Kahkonen, the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month, was 8-1-0 in nine starts last month, allowing only 11 goals on 267 shots for a 1.22 goals-against average, a .959 save percentage and four shutouts.

Kahkonen began the month with a 19-save shutout of San Antonio on Feb. 5, and then stopped 36 shots in a 5-2 victory over Stockton on Feb. 8. He earned another shutout with a 35-save blanking of San Diego on Feb. 14, and turned aside 30 shots in a 4-0 win at Texas on Feb. 22. Kahkonen ran his personal home-ice winning streak to eight games with 21 saves to defeat Chicago, 5-2, on Feb. 25, and earned his fifth shutout in a span of 11 starts when he kicked out 35 shots in a 2-0 win at Stockton on Feb. 29.

A fourth-round pick by the Minnesota Wild in the 2014 NHL Draft, Kahkonen has a record of 25-6-2 in 33 appearances for Iowa this season, ranking fourth in the AHL with a 2.08 GAA, fourth with a .927 save percentage and first with seven shutouts. He is also 3-1-1 (2.96, .913) in five games with Minnesota after making his NHL debut on Nov. 26, 2019. The 23-year-old native of Helsinki, Finland, has appeared in 72 games with Iowa over his two North American seasons and is 42-20-10 with a 2.46 GAA, a .916 save percentage and 13 shutouts.

Each monthly award winner will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming home game in recognition of his achievement.