SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Jake Bean of the Charlotte Checkers is the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman for the 2019-20 season.
The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 31 cities.
The 21-year-old Bean led all AHL defensemen in scoring with 48 points in 59 games for the Checkers this season, collecting 10 goals and 38 assists to finish as the leading scorer on Charlotte’s roster. Bean recorded 21 points on the power play, and his special-teams play helped the Checkers rank third in the league in efficiency both with the man advantage (22.8 percent) and while shorthanded (87.0 percent).
A native of Calgary, Alta., Bean was also a First Team AHL All-Star selection and participated in the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic this season, following a debut 2018-19 campaign that saw him capture AHL All-Rookie honors and a Calder Cup championship with Charlotte. He has totaled 23 goals and 69 assists for 92 points in 129 regular-season games over his two AHL seasons. Bean was the Carolina Hurricanes’ first-round selection (13th overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft, and skated in two games with the Canes last year.
Bean is just the third player ever to earn the Eddie Shore Award before his 22nd birthday, joining Sami Niku (2018) and Craig Levie (1981).
This award was first presented by the AHL in 1958-59 in honor of the late Eddie Shore, a member of both the Hockey Hall of Fame and the American Hockey League Hall of Fame who is widely regarded as one of hockey’s greatest defensemen. Shore won a total of seven Calder Cups in his career, including two as the general manager of the Buffalo Bisons and five as the longtime owner of the Springfield Indians. Previous recipients of the Eddie Shore Award include Steve Kraftcheck (1959), Bob McCord (1961, ’67), Al Arbour (1965), Jim Morrison (1966), Noel Price (1970, ’72, ’76), Brian Engblom (1977), Terry Murray (1978, ’79), Dave Farrish (1982), Brad Shaw (1987), Dave Fenyves (1988, ’89), Eric Weinrich (1990), Darren Rumble (1997), John Slaney (2001, ’02), Niklas Kronwall (2005), Johnny Boychuk (2009), Mark Barberio (2012), Justin Schultz (2013), T.J. Brennan (2014, ’16), Sami Niku (2018) and Zach Redmond (2019).
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The winner of the 2019-20 Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award (outstanding rookie) will be announced Thursday.