Amerks’ Salak named top rookie for October

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Rochester Americans goaltender Alexander Salak has been named the Reebok/AHL Rookie of the Month for October. Salak began his AHL career with a 6-0-0 mark in seven appearances, a 1.66 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage, helping the Americans to the best record in the league during the month.

Salak drew six starting assignments in October and won them all, stopping at least 30 shots in five of them. After he made his AHL debut in a relief role on Oct. 10, Salak’s first start came on Oct. 12 vs. Syracuse and he made 30 saves in Rochester’s 4-1 victory. Salak was named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week after earning wins on three consecutive days from Oct. 23-25, totaling 88 saves on 91 shots in that span. He finished October with a 38-save performance in the Amerks’ 4-2 win at Binghamton on Oct. 30.

In recognition of his achievement, Salak will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Americans home game.

Salak, who began the year with the parent Florida Panthers and made his NHL debut on Oct. 9 at Carolina, has allowed just 11 goals on 209 shots and is tied for the AHL lead in victories through the first month of the season. The 22-year-old rookie is in his first season of North American pro hockey after signing with the Panthers on May 29, 2009. A native of Strakonice, Czech Republic, Salak spent the previous two seasons playing with TPS Turku in Finland.

Other nominees for Reebok/AHL Rookie of the Month include Adirondack defenseman Kevin Marshall, Albany center Zach Boychuk, Binghamton defenseman Geoff Kinrade, Chicago left wing Andrew Kozek, Grand Rapids goaltender Thomas McCollum, Hartford center Evgeny Grachev, Hershey defenseman John Carlson, Lake Erie left wing Brock Bradford, Lowell defenseman Matt Taormina, Manchester center Andrei Loktionov, Manitoba right wing Sergei Shirokov, Milwaukee defenseman Jonathan Blum, Norfolk goaltender Dustin Tokarski, Portland center Tyler Ennis, Rockford defenseman Brian Connelly, San Antonio center Colin Long, Syracuse defenseman Brent Regner, Texas right wing Colton Sceviour, Toronto right wing Christian Hanson, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman Brian Strait and Worcester center Logan Couture.