Moose’s Capobianco voted AHL’s top defenseman

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Kyle Capobianco of the Manitoba Moose is the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman for the 2023-24 season.

The award was voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 32 cities.

Capobianco had a career year in 2023-24, his first as a member of the Moose, as he led all AHL defensemen with 42 assists and 54 points and ranked tied for third with a plus-29 rating in 69 games. He set a personal best with six power-play goals, added the first shorthanded goal of his career, and helped Manitoba wrap up a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs by recording eight points in his final five games. Capobianco made his fourth career AHL All-Star Classic appearance in 2024, and was also voted a First Team AHL All-Star for the first time.

The seventh-year pro from Mississauga, Ont., has skated in 224 career AHL contests with Manitoba and Tucson, totaling 33 goals and 133 assists for 166 points. Capobianco was originally selected by Arizona in the third round of the 2015 NHL Draft and has played 73 career games in the National Hockey League with the Coyotes and Winnipeg Jets, recording five goals and seven assists. He signed as a free agent with Winnipeg on July 14, 2022, and spent the entire 2022-23 season with the Jets, including making his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut.

This award was first presented by the AHL in 1958-59 in honor of Eddie Shore, a member of both the Hockey Hall of Fame and the American Hockey League Hall of Fame who is widely regarded as one of hockey’s greatest defensemen. Shore won a total of seven Calder Cups in his career, including two as the general manager of the Buffalo Bisons and five as the longtime owner of the Springfield Indians. Previous recipients of the Eddie Shore Award include Steve Kraftcheck (1959), Bob McCord (1961, ’67), Al Arbour (1965), Jim Morrison (1966), Noel Price (1970, ’72, ’76), Brian Engblom (1977), Terry Murray (1978, ’79), Dave Farrish (1982), Brad Shaw (1987), Dave Fenyves (1988, ’89), Eric Weinrich (1990), Darren Rumble (1997), John Slaney (2001, ’02), Niklas Kronwall (2005), Johnny Boychuk (2009), Mark Barberio (2012), Justin Schultz (2013), T.J. Brennan (2014, ’16), Jake Bean (2020), Jordan Gross (2022) and Christian Wolanin (2023).

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 32 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The winner of the 2023-24 Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award (outstanding goaltender) will be announced Wednesday.