O’Regan voted AHL’s outstanding rookie

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that San Jose Barracuda forward Daniel O’Regan has been voted the winner of the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding rookie for the 2016-17 season.

The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.

With two games remaining in the regular season, O’Regan is pacing all AHL rookies in scoring with 56 points (22 goals, 34 assists) while skating in 61 games for the Barracuda. The leading point-getter for the team with the AHL’s top-ranked offense, O’Regan has also notched 10 power-play goals and recorded five game-winning tallies, and has a plus/minus rating of plus-9 while accruing just 10 minutes in penalties all season. O’Regan scored a goal in his pro debut on opening night and went on to record 11 points in his first 10 games to earn his first NHL recall, making his debut with the parent Sharks on Nov. 21. He later represented the Barracuda at the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic, scoring three goals for the Pacific Division in the round-robin All-Star Challenge.

Born in Berlin, Germany, where his father – former AHL and NHL forward Tom O’Regan – was playing professionally, the 23-year-old O’Regan was a fifth-round selection by the San Jose Sharks in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He played four seasons at Boston University and skated for the United States at the IIHF World Junior Championships in 2014.

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 Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award include Terry Sawchuk (1949), 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), Felix Potvin (1992), Corey Hirsch (1993), Darcy Tucker (1996), Daniel Briere (1998), Rene Bourque (2005), Teddy Purcell (2008), Tyler Ennis (2010), Tyler Toffoli (2013), Curtis McKenzie (2014), Matt Murray (2015), Frank Vatrano (2016) and Mikko Rantanen (2016).

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 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 2016-17 regular season ends Saturday, and then 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.

The winner of the 2016-17 Les Cunningham Award (most valuable player) will be announced Friday.