Brodzinski, Kartye, Hofer named award winners for March

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Hartford Wolf Pack forward Jonny Brodzinski, Coachella Valley forward Tye Kartye and Springfield Thunderbirds goaltender Joel Hofer have been selected as the league’s award winners for March.

Brodzinski, the AHL Player of the Month, scored 11 goals and added nine assists for 20 points in 11 games for Hartford during March.

With Hartford battling Bridgeport for a playoff position in the Atlantic Division, Brodzinski scored eight goals in four games against the Islanders last month, all Wolf Pack victories. He led the offensive onslaught with two goals and two assists in a 9-0 win on Mar. 4, and after a one-game recall to the parent New York Rangers, he returned to the Hartford lineup and scored the winning goal in a 7-5 decision on Mar. 15, part of a three-point evening. Brodzinski scored twice more in a 3-2 win on Mar. 18, and had a pair of goals in a 4-1 victory on Mar. 29.

Brodzinski also had a five-point game on Mar. 24 against Springfield, including a goal and three assists during the third period as the Wolf Pack rallied for a 6-5 win over the Thunderbirds.

Hartford’s captain leads the team with 46 points (21 goals, 25 assists) in just 43 games this season, his eighth pro campaign. Brodzinski has also skated in 17 NHL contests with the Rangers in 2022-23, recording a goal and an assist. A native of Ham Lake, Minn., Brodzinski has played 293 career AHL games with Hartford, San Jose and Ontario, tallying 115 goals and 125 assists for 240 points. He was originally selected by Los Angeles in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft, and has totaled nine goals and eight assists in 101 career NHL contests with the Kings, Rangers and San Jose Sharks.

Kartye, the AHL Rookie of the Month, notched 11 goals and six assists for 17 points in 15 games for Coachella Valley during March.

Kartye had five multiple-point games on the month, beginning with the first two-goal effort of his pro career in a 5-1 win at Bakersfield on Mar. 3. He scored the game-winning goal in the Firebirds’ 5-4 win at San Jose on Mar. 4, and then recorded a hat trick to lead Coachella Valley to a 6-3 win over Texas on Mar. 12. Kartye picked up a pair of assists in a 4-1 win over Iowa on Mar. 15, and ran his scoring streak to six games with goals in back-to-back contests against San Diego on Mar. 19 and at Texas on Mar. 21. He closed out the month with goals in three consecutive games, including his fourth game-winning tally of March in the Firebirds’ 4-0 win at Ontario on Mar. 31.

Kartye has recorded 26 goals and 26 assists for 52 points, tied for the league lead in scoring among rookies, and has skated in all 65 games to date for Coachella Valley. He also ranks first among AHL rookie forwards in plus/minus with a plus-18 rating. The 21-year-old native of Kingston, Ont., played three junior seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s Soo Greyhounds, totaling 74 goals and 82 assists in 191 games. Kartye signed as a free agent with the Seattle Kraken on Mar. 1, 2022.

Hofer, the AHL Goaltender of the Month, went 5-1-0 in six AHL starts during March, allowing only nine goals on 194 shots for a 1.47 goals-against average and a .954 save percentage.

Hofer began March with a 27-save shutout, backstopping Springfield to a 1-0 shootout victory over Hartford on Mar. 3. He allowed just one goal in his only loss of the month, a 30-save effort in a 3-0 loss to Bridgeport on Mar. 5. Hofer shut out the Wolf Pack again on Mar. 8, making 31 stops in a 4-0 win, and turned aside 32 shots in a 5-2 victory over Laval on Mar. 11. Hofer was recalled by St. Louis and made five starts for the Blues (3-0-1, 2.79, .915) before returning to the Thunderbirds and backstopping them to a sweep of their three-game visit to Charlotte, including a 38-save night in a 7-4 win on Mar. 29.

Hofer has made 43 appearances for Springfield this season, ranking third in the AHL in save percentage (.920), third in minutes played (2,538) and second in saves (1,227). He has a record of 25-14-4 with a 2.53 goals-against average, and his four shutouts are good for second in the league. The 22-year-old native of Winnipeg, Man., has made 93 appearances over his career with Springfield, Utica and San Antonio, going 47-35-10 with a 2.81 GAA, a .911 save percentage and seven shutouts. Hofer was a fourth-round pick by St. Louis in the 2018 NHL Draft and made his NHL debut with the Blues in 2021-22.