Monarchs’ Purcell wins Dudley (Red) Garrett Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that right wing Teddy Purcell of the Manchester Monarchs has been named the winner of the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding rookie for the 2007-08 season, as voted by AHL coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 29 member cities.

Purcell, a 22-year-old native of St. John’s, Nfld., was named to the league’s All-Rookie Team on Wednesday and was selected a First Team AHL All-Star on Thursday. With 10 days remaining in the regular season, he ranks first among rookies and fourth overall in the league with 55 assists and 77 points in 64 games for Manchester.

Purcell was the recipient of the Rbk Edge/AHL Rookie of the Month award in November, when he recorded 17 points in 12 games. He was then voted to the starting lineup for the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Reebok, and went on to win game MVP honors with a hat trick plus the decisive shootout goal in the Canadian team’s 9-8 victory over PlanetUSA.

Purcell signed with the Los Angeles Kings following a standout freshman season at the University of Maine in 2006-07, when he was named the Hockey East Rookie of the Year and helped the Black Bears reach the NCAA’s Frozen Four. Purcell made his National Hockey League debut with Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 2008, and has tallied one goal and two assists in 10 games with the Kings.

This award, which was first presented by the AHL in 1947, honors the late Dudley (Red) Garrett, a promising young player who lost his life during World War II while serving in the Royal Canadian Navy. Garrett split his only pro season, 1942-43, between the AHL’s Providence Reds and the NHL’s New York Rangers.

Previous winners of the Garrett Award include Terry Sawchuk (1949), Wally Hergesheimer (1951), Jimmy Anderson (1955), Bill Sweeney (1958), Roger Crozier (1964), Gerry Desjardins (1968), Rick Middleton (1974), Darryl Sutter (1980), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), Steve Thomas (1985), Ron Hextall (1986), Brett Hull (1987), Donald Audette (1990), Felix Potvin (1992), Darcy Tucker (1996), Daniel Briere (1998), Tyler Arnason (2002), Darren Haydar (2003), Wade Dubielewicz (2004), Rene Bourque (2005), Patrick O’Sullivan (2006) and Brett Sterling (2007).

Currently in its 72nd 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 40 million fans have attended AHL games across North America since 2001-02.