Davidson wins Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Brandon Davidson of the Oklahoma City Barons has been named the 2012-13 winner of the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award as the AHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.

A 21-year-old defenseman from Lethbridge, Alta., Davidson was less than a month into his first season of professional hockey when it was announced on Nov. 1 that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer and required immediate treatment. He underwent successful surgery and chemotherapy, and began skating with the Barons again in January, then made his return to the lineup on Feb. 8. Davidson has become a valuable member of the Oklahoma City defensive corps during their quest for a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs, contributing two goals, three assists and a plus-5 rating in 23 games on the season.

Davidson was a sixth-round draft choice by the Edmonton Oilers in 2010, and made his professional debut with Oklahoma City at the age of 19 late in the 2010-11 season.

This award, which was first presented by the AHL in 1978, honors the late Fred T. Hunt, a long-time contributor to the league who won three Calder Cup championships as a player and three more as a general manager during a career spent primarily with the AHL’s Buffalo Bisons and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. Previous winners of the award include Ross Yates (1983), Glenn Merkosky (1987, ’91), Bruce Boudreau (1988), Murray Eaves (’89, ’90), John Anderson (1992), Tim Tookey (1993), Ken Gernander (1996, 2004), Randy Cunneyworth (2000), Mike Keane (2007), Ajay Baines (2009), Casey Borer (2010), Bryan Helmer (2011) and Chris Minard (2012).

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 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 2012-13 regular season ends on Sunday, and then 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.