Reigning American Hockey League MVP Darren Haydar scored his first career NHL goal in the Atlanta Thrashers’ 6-5 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.
Playing in his second NHL game this season and the eighth of his career, Haydar got the goal 2:21 into the first period off future Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur. Brett Sterling, a fellow 2007 First Team AHL All-Star and last year’s AHL rookie of the year, earned one of the assists.
Haydar later added his first NHL assist as well.
Haydar, who turns 28 later this month, won the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s most valuable player in 2006-07 after recording 41 goals and 81 assists for 122 points in 73 games with the Chicago Wolves, including a league-record 39-game scoring streak. Haydar also led the AHL in postseason scoring for the third time in four years, posting 24 points in 15 playoff games.
The AHL’s top rookie in 2003, Haydar has been one of the American Hockey League’s top offensive players over the last five seasons, totaling 151 goals and 248 assists for 399 points in 367 games, including one assist in one game with Chicago this season.