AHL’s December award winners named

Photos: Jessie Harsen, KDP Studio, Jonathan Kozub

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Ontario Reign forward Mike Amadio, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Daniel Sprong and Manitoba Moose goaltender Michael Hutchinson have been selected as the league’s award winners for December.

Amadio, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month, led all AHL skaters with 16 assists and 21 points in 14 games during December and carries an 11-game assist streak into the new year, tied for the longest in the AHL since 2014.

Amadio picked up an assist on Dec. 3 at Tucson and then began his current scoring streak with an assist on Dec. 9 at Texas. He recorded two goals and an assist in a 3-2 overtime victory at San Antonio on Dec. 10, his first of eight multiple-point games over the next nine contests. Amadio had a goal and an assist each in come-from-behind wins at Texas on Dec. 13 and at Stockton on Dec. 15, and his second assist of the night set up the winning goal in a 4-3 overtime decision vs. Texas on Dec. 20. He notched a goal and an assist in a 3-2 win at Bakersfield on Dec. 27, and assisted on the winner in the final minute of regulation in a 4-3 victory over Stockton on Dec. 29.

A third-round pick by Los Angeles in the 2014 NHL Draft, Amadio has tallied seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points in 24 games with Ontario this season. He also made his NHL debut with the Kings on Oct. 26 and notched one goal in eight games. The 21-year-old native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., recorded 41 points as a rookie in 2016-17, and shows 23 goals and 44 assists for 67 points in 92 career AHL games.

Sprong, the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month, tallied nine goals – including three game-winners – and five assists for 14 points in 12 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in December before earning a recall to the National Hockey League.

Sprong ended a five-game scoreless drought by tallying a goal and an assist at Hershey on Dec. 3, and contributed a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win at Hershey on Dec. 10. He scored the tying and go-ahead goals on Dec. 13 at Springfield as the Penguins came back from two goals down for a 6-3 victory, and he extended his goal-scoring streak to four games with another marker on Dec. 15 at Hartford. Sprong notched his second hat trick of the season on Dec. 29 – part of a four-point effort in a 5-1 win over Hartford – and was recalled by Pittsburgh to make his first NHL appearance of the year on New Year’s Eve.

A second-round pick by Pittsburgh in the 2015 NHL Draft, Sprong is tied for second among all AHL skaters with 18 goals and ranks fifth among league rookies with 28 points in 29 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season. Sprong, a 20-year-old native of Amsterdam, Netherlands, played four seasons of junior hockey with Charlottetown (QMJHL) and has two goals in 19 career NHL outings with the parent Penguins.

Hutchinson, the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for the second consecutive month, was 6-1-1 in eight starts during December, posting a 1.62 goals-against average, a .946 save percentage and one shutout as Manitoba kept up its torrid pace.

Hutchinson began the month with a 27-save shutout of Cleveland on Dec. 2, his first whitewash of the season. He was outstanding during a two-game weekend visit to Toronto, making 39 saves on Dec. 16 and 27 more on Dec. 17 as the Moose overtook the Marlies for first place in the overall AHL standings. Hutchinson stopped 69 of 72 shots spanning back-to-back wins over San Antonio on Dec. 21 and 22, and after his personal 12-0-2 streak was snapped in a 3-2 loss to San Jose on Dec. 30, he bounced back with 21 saves in a 5-2 victory over the Barracuda on New Year’s Eve.

An eighth-year pro in his fifth season in the Winnipeg Jets organization, Hutchinson has made 18 appearances in net for Manitoba this season and has a record of 14-2-2, leading the AHL with a .947 save percentage while ranking second with a 1.77 goals-against average. Originally drafted by Boston in 2008, Hutchinson had spent the previous three seasons in the NHL with the Jets and has a record of 41-38-11 with a 2.63 GAA, a .910 save percentage and three shutouts in 99 career NHL games. The 27-year-old native of Barrie, Ont., is 70-44-8 (2.40, .922) with 11 shutouts in 129 regular-season AHL games with Manitoba, St. John’s and Providence, and he backstopped the IceCaps to the Calder Cup Finals in 2014.

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