Ennis named top rookie for February

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Portland Pirates center Tyler Ennis has been named the Reebok/AHL Rookie of the Month for February. In 14 games, Ennis registered six goals and 11 assists for 17 points as the Pirates jumped from fourth place in the Atlantic Division on Feb. 1 to first place by month’s end.

Ennis began February with a two-goal effort in Portland’s 6-1 win over Manchester on Feb. 2, then added a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win at Providence on Feb. 5. He led the Pirates to a 5-4 victory over Adirondack on Feb. 13 with a goal and three assists – his third four-point game of the season, and recorded the game-winning goal plus two more helpers as Portland downed Hartford, 7-4, on Feb. 15. Ennis finished the month with a personal-best scoring streak of six games intact, highlighted by his overtime goal in a 2-1 triumph at Hartford on Feb. 27.

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

Ennis, 20, was a first-round draft choice (26th overall) by Buffalo in 2008 and currently leads all AHL rookies with 19 goals (tied), 40 assists and 59 points while playing in all 61 games for Portland so far this season. The Edmonton, Alta., native made his NHL debut with the Sabres on Nov. 14, 2009, and scored a goal in a 3-2 victory at Philadelphia. Ennis, who was named the MVP of the 2010 AHL All-Star Game, was a two-time WHL East First Team All-Star during his junior career with Medicine Hat.

Other nominees for Reebok/AHL Rookie of the Month include Abbotsford center Mikael Backlund, Adirondack defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon, Albany defenseman Jamie McBain, Chicago defenseman Paul Postma, Hamilton defenseman P.K. Subban, Lowell defenseman Matt Taormina, Manchester left wing Dwight King, Manitoba right wing Dan Sexton, Norfolk center Dana Tyrell, Peoria center Brett Sonne, Rochester left wing Evgeny Dadonov, Rockford defenseman Brian Connelly, San Antonio right wing Matt Watkins, Syracuse center Tomas Kana, Texas center Travis Morin, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Brad Thiessen and Worcester goaltender Alex Stalock.