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AHL names award winners for October

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Utica Comets forward Reid Boucher, Chicago Wolves forward Lucas Elvenes and Hartford Wolf Pack goaltender Igor Shesterkin have been selected as the league’s award winners for October.

Boucher, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month, scored 10 goals and added three assists for 13 points in eight games to help lead the Comets to a perfect 8-0-0-0 start to the 2019-20 season.

Boucher began the year with two goals and an assist in Utica’s 4-3 win at Binghamton on Oct. 5, and scored twice more as the Comets defeated Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 4-3 in overtime, on Oct. 12. Boucher tallied a shorthanded goal as part of an 8-2 win over Charlotte on Oct. 18 before another three-point night in a 7-1 victory over Rochester on Oct. 19, and he ran his goal-scoring streak to six consecutive games with a power-play marker in the Comets’ 5-1 win over Binghamton on Oct. 25.

Sparking a Comets offense that has scored a league-high 4.88 goals per game so far, Boucher leads the AHL in goals and ranks second in points while getting his season off to another torrid start; in 23 October contests over the last three seasons, Boucher has totaled 22 goals and 12 assists for 34 points. The seventh-year pro and two-time AHL All-Star from Grand Ledge, Mich., shows 129 goals and 102 assists for 231 points in 278 career AHL games with Utica, Milwaukee and Albany. Boucher was a fourth-round pick by New Jersey in the 2011 NHL Draft and has compiled 20 goals and 22 assists in 42 NHL contests with the Devils, Nashville and Vancouver.

Elvenes, the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month, registered four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 10 games in October for Chicago, racing to the top of the AHL scoring page.

Making his North American debut against Grand Rapids on opening night, Elvenes notched a goal and three assists for his first of four multiple-point efforts in October. He scored the Wolves’ only regulation goal in a 2-1 shootout victory at San Antonio on Oct. 12, and had back-to-back two-assist nights in wins over Texas on Oct. 23 and Manitoba on Oct. 26. Elvenes finished the month by potting the game-winning goal as Chicago defeated Tucson, 3-0, on Oct. 30.

A 20-year-old native of Angelholm, Sweden, Elvenes leads the AHL in assists (11) and points (15), figuring in on the scoring of 62.5 percent of Chicago’s 24 non-shootout goals thus far. A fifth-round selection by Vegas in the 2017 NHL Draft, Elvenes played 82 games over three seasons for Rogle BK in the Swedish Hockey League before joining Chicago as a “black ace” during their run to the Calder Cup Finals in 2019.

Shesterkin, the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month, allowed nine goals on 155 shots in six outings during October, going 5-1-0 with a 1.49 goals-against average, a .942 save percentage and one shutout to help Hartford to its best start in 15 years.

Shesterkin made 26 saves against Charlotte on Oct. 5, beginning his North American career with a victory over the defending Calder Cup champions. He earned back-to-back wins over Springfield, including a 36-save shutout to preserve a 1-0 decision on Oct. 18, and extended his scoreless streak to more than 137 minutes before allowing a goal in a 2-1 overtime win over Laval on Oct. 25. Shesterkin earned his fifth win in a row and was named the game’s first star with a 29-save effort as Hartford beat Bridgeport, 2-1 in overtime, on Oct. 27.

A fourth-round choice by the New York Rangers in the 2014 NHL Draft, Shesterkin came to North America this fall after spending parts of the last six seasons in the KHL with Spartak Moscow and SKA St. Petersburg. The 23-year-old native of Moscow won a gold medal as a member of the Olympic Athletes from Russia team at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, and was a silver medalist with Russia at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

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