SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Sheldon Brookbank of the Milwaukee Admirals has been named the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman for the 2006-07 season, as voted by AHL players and members of the media in each of the league’s 27 cities.
Brookbank, Milwaukee’s team captain, leads all American Hockey League defensemen in assists (37) and points (51) in 75 games this season, and his 14 goals in 2006-07 match his output from his first four AHL seasons combined. The Admirals’ third-leading scorer this season is also the team’s plus/minus leader among defensemen and ranks second on the club with 170 penalty minutes. Brookbank is tops among all AHL defensemen with six game-winning goals and ranks third with 208 shots on goal for the Admirals, who are headed to the Calder Cup Playoffs for the fifth year in a row.
Brookbank made his National Hockey League debut with the Nashville Predators earlier this season, recording one assist in three games. He represented the Admirals at the 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic, and last week was named a First Team AHL All-Star. A 26-year-old native of Lanigan, Sask., Brookbank has totaled 28 goals and 95 assists for 123 points in 357 career AHL games. He has also skated in 56 career AHL postseason contests, reaching the Calder Cup Finals with Milwaukee in 2006.
This award, which was first presented by the AHL in 1959, honors the late Eddie Shore, a Hockey Hall of Famer and American Hockey League Hall of Famer widely regarded as one of hockey’s greatest defensemen. Shore won a total of five Calder Cups in his career, including two as the general manager of the Buffalo Bisons and three as the longtime owner of the Springfield Indians.
Previous winners include Steve Kraftcheck (1959), Al Arbour (1965), Noel Price (1970, ’72, ’76), Brian Engblom (1977), Terry Murray (1978, ’79), Brad Shaw (1987), Dave Fenyves (1988, ’89), Eric Weinrich (1990), Darren Rumble (1997), John Slaney (2001, ’02), Curtis Murphy (2003, ’04), Niklas Kronwall (2005) and Andy Delmore (2006).
Now in its 71st season of play, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 83 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 6.3 million fans have attended AHL games across North America in each of the past five seasons. Sixteen clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2007 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.