Hensick earns Player of the Month honor

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Lake Erie Monsters center T.J. Hensick has been named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Month for December. Hensick notched four goals and 19 assists for 23 points along with a plus-7 rating in 13 games during the month.

Assigned to Lake Erie on Nov. 26 by the parent Colorado Avalanche, Hensick was scoreless in his first two AHL games of the season but began the month of December with two assists in a 6-2 win over Grand Rapids on Dec. 1. He picked up a goal and two assists in a 7-3 victory over Chicago on Dec. 13, and registered three consecutive three-assist efforts on Dec. 22 (vs. Rochester), Dec. 26 (vs. Toronto) and Dec. 27 (at Toronto). Hensick had a goal and an assist on Dec. 29 vs. Peoria, and finished the month on a six-game scoring streak thanks to two assists in a 5-1 win vs. Rochester on Dec. 31.

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

Hensick ranks first on the Monsters with 21 assists and second with 25 points despite playing just 17 AHL games so far this season. The third-year pro from Lansing, Mich., has also registered one goal and two assists in seven NHL contests for Colorado in 2009-10. An AHL All-Star as a rookie in 2007-08, Hensick has totaled 23 goals and 63 assists for 86 points in 79 career AHL games, all with Lake Erie. He set NHL career highs with 17 assists, 21 points and 61 games played for the Avalanche a season ago.

Other nominees for Reebok/AHL Player of the Month include Adirondack right wing Stefan Legein, Albany center Zach Boychuk, Binghamton defenseman Derek Smith, Bridgeport goaltender Scott Munroe, Chicago left wing Brett Sterling, Grand Rapids right wing Jan Mursak, Hamilton center David Desharnais, Hartford right wing Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, Houston right wing Jon DiSalvatore, Lowell center Ben Walter, Manchester center Gabe Gauthier, Milwaukee center Cal O’Reilly, Peoria center Julian Talbot, Portland right wing Mark Mancari, Rochester center Jamie Johnson, Rockford right wing Jack Skille, San Antonio center Kyle Turris, Syracuse left wing Bates Battaglia, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton center Dustin Jeffrey and Worcester center Logan Couture.