Lajoie, Desnoyers, Silovs named award winners for February

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Chicago Wolves defenseman Max Lajoie, Lehigh Valley Phantoms forward Elliot Desnoyers and Abbotsford Canucks goaltender Arturs Silovs have been selected as the league’s award winners for February.

Lajoie, the AHL Player of the Month, skated in 11 games for Chicago during February and totaled five goals and nine assists for 14 points — the most in a calendar month by an AHL defenseman in more than three years.

Lajoie scored the winning goal in Chicago’s 3-2 win at Cleveland on Feb. 4, then headed to Laval to represent the Wolves at the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic. Returning from the break, he recorded an assist in a 5-0 victory over Iowa on Feb. 10, then set career highs with three assists and four points in Chicago’s 6-5 victory at Iowa the next night. Lajoie recorded another big night against the Wild on Feb. 21, notching a goal and two assists in a 4-1 victory, and had the first two-goal effort of his career in a 5-4 overtime victory at Grand Rapids on Feb. 24.

Chicago’s captain has scored a career-best seven goals and added 23 assists for 30 points in 48 games this season, good for third on the team in scoring. The Quebec City native has totaled 22 goals and 95 assists for 117 points in 242 career AHL contests with Chicago and Belleville, and helped the Wolves to a Calder Cup championship in 2022. Originally a fifth-round pick by Ottawa in the 2016 NHL Draft, Lajoie has played 70 games in the NHL (including three this season with Carolina) and has compiled seven goals and eight assists.

Desnoyers, the AHL Rookie of the Month, tallied five goals and nine assists for 14 points in eight games for Lehigh Valley during February, a month which also saw him make his National Hockey League debut.

Desnoyers had multiple points in five of his eight outings last month (he had two all season previously), beginning with a pair of assists in a 5-2 win over Hershey on Feb. 1. He notched a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win at Hartford on Feb. 10, and recorded the first two-goal game of his pro career on Feb. 11, helping the Phantoms to a 3-0 win over Bridgeport. He posted a season-high four points with a goal and three assists against Hartford on Feb. 19 and added a goal and an assist at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Feb. 22. Desnoyers was recalled by Philadelphia and debuted with the Flyers on Feb. 25 at New Jersey, then returned to the Phantoms lineup the next afternoon and registered an assist in Lehigh Valley’s 4-3 win at Bridgeport.

A 21-year-old native of St-Hyacinthe, Que., Desnoyers leads the Phantoms with 19 goals and 37 points in 49 games this season. He was a fifth-round choice by Philadelphia in the 2020 NHL Draft and played four junior seasons in the QMJHL with Moncton and Halifax, earning Second Team All-Star honors in 2020-21. Desnoyers also represented Canada at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning a gold medal.

Silovs, the AHL Goaltender of the Month, won all five of his decisions for Abbotsford in February and allowed only four goals on 113 shots, good for a 0.90 goals-against average and a .965 save percentage.

Coming off a 6-3 loss in his last start of January, Silovs stopped 21 shots in a 6-1 victory at San Diego on Feb. 1, and was perfect in 26 minutes of relief work to earn the win in a 3-2 decision at San Jose on Feb. 3. He came back the next night with 28 saves in a 3-2 win over the Barracuda, and recorded his third shutout of the season with a 21-save effort against Tucson on Feb. 10. Silovs improved to 5-0-0 on the month with 27 stops in a 4-1 win over the Roadrunners on Feb. 11, then was recalled by the parent Vancouver Canucks and made his NHL debut against the New York Rangers on Feb. 15. Silovs went 2-2-0 in four starts with Vancouver, earning his first NHL victory on Feb. 18 vs. Philadelphia.

A 21-year-old native of Riga, Latvia, Silovs has a record of 21-9-4 in 35 appearances for Abbotsford this season, ranking second in the AHL in wins and fourth in minutes played (2,011). He also has a 2.48 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage, and his three shutouts are one off the league lead. A sixth-round selection by Vancouver in the 2019 NHL Draft, Silovs has played 46 career AHL games with Abbotsford and Manitoba, going 24-16-4 with a 2.60 GAA, a .902 save percentage and four shutouts.