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Stars’ Damiani wins Red Garrett Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Texas Stars forward Riley Damiani has been voted the winner of the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding rookie for the 2020-21 season.

The award was voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 28 active cities.

Damiani, who earned spots on the AHL All-Rookie Team and the Central Division All-Star Team for 2020-21, led all AHL rookies in scoring and tied for third in the overall scoring race with 36 points (11 goals, 25 assists) in 36 games for Texas. He notched two goals and an assist for the Stars on opening night and was named the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for March after registering 15 points in 10 games, including a streak of five consecutive multiple-point outings. Damiani finished his rookie season with an eight-game scoring streak.

A fifth-round selection by Dallas in the 2018 NHL Draft, Damiani turned pro after four seasons with Kitchener in the Ontario Hockey League. The 21-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., served as captain of his junior club and led the team in scoring in 2019-20. He signed an entry-level NHL contract with the Stars on April 1, 2019.

This award, which was first presented by the AHL in 1947, honors the late Dudley (Red) Garrett, a promising young player who lost his life during World War II while serving in the Royal Canadian Navy. Garrett split his only pro season, 1942-43, between the AHL’s Providence Reds and the NHL’s New York Rangers. Previous winners of the Garrett Award include Terry Sawchuk (1949), Jim Anderson (1955), Bill Sweeney (1958), Roger Crozier (1964), Gerry Desjardins (1968), Rick Middleton (1974), Darryl Sutter (1980), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), Steve Thomas (1985), Ron Hextall (1986), Brett Hull (1987), Felix Potvin (1992), Corey Hirsch (1993), Darcy Tucker (1996), Daniel Briere (1998), Darren Haydar (2003), Rene Bourque (2005), Nathan Gerbe (2009), Tyler Ennis (2010), Cory Conacher (2012), Tyler Toffoli (2013), Matt Murray (2015), Mikko Rantanen (2016), Frank Vatrano (2016), Danny O’Regan (2017), Mason Appleton (2018), Alex Barre-Boulet (2019) and Josh Norris (2020).

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 2020-21 Les Cunningham Award (most valuable player) will be announced Friday.