Kolanos earns award in return

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Abbotsford Heat center Krys Kolanos has been named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 30, 2011.

Kolanos made a storybook return to hockey last week, notching four goals and three assists for seven points in two games for the Heat.

Kolanos, who sat out the entire 2010-11 season due to injury, played in his first game since Jan. 16, 2010, on Friday night and recorded a hat trick as part of a four-point effort in Abbotsford’s 5-1 win at Grand Rapids. On Sunday in Hamilton, Kolanos scored another goal and assisted on two more as the Heat defeated the Bulldogs, 6-2.

Kolanos’s addition to the lineup has been a boon for the Heat, who scored 12 goals in seven games without him before totaling 11 goals in the two weekend outings.

A former first-round draft pick by the Phoenix Coyotes (19th overall in 2000), Kolanos signed a tryout with the Heat on Oct. 11 after missing a season and a half following hip surgery. The Calgary, Alta., native is a two-time 30-goal scorer in the AHL and has registered 110 goals and 99 assists for 209 points in 228 AHL games over parts of seven seasons. Kolanos has also appeared in 136 NHL games with Minnesota, Phoenix and Edmonton, tallying 20 goals and 21 assists for 41 points.

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

Also see: Past winners, AHL Player of the Week