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Phantoms’ Giroux nabs rookie of the month honors


… The American Hockey League announced today that Philadelphia Phantoms right wing Claude Giroux has been named the Reebok Edge/AHL Rookie of the Month for December. Giroux recorded eight goals, six assists and a plus-12 rating in eight games for the Phantoms last month.

Giroux began the month by scoring the winning goal and adding two assists in Philadelphia’s 6-3 win over Hartford on Dec. 5. He then began a six-game goal-scoring streak by finding the net twice in a 4-1 win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Dec. 7. Giroux had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win at Springfield on Dec. 12 and potted the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over Wilkes-Barre on Dec. 14, then tallied a goal and an assist each in three consecutive contests. Giroux was recalled by the parent Flyers on Dec. 26 and earned his first career NHL point (an assist) on Dec. 30 at Vancouver.

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

Giroux, 20, was a first-round pick (22nd overall) by Philadelphia in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. The native of Hearst, Ont., leads all AHL rookies with 33 points and is tied for first with 17 goals in 31 games for the Phantoms this season. Giroux was a three-time 100-point scorer with Gatineau in the QMJHL and led the Olympiques to the league championship in 2008, earning playoff MVP honors. Giroux was also won a gold medal with Canada at the 2008 World Junior Championships.

Other nominees for Reebok Edge/AHL Rookie of the Month include Bridgeport defenseman Jack Hillen, Grand Rapids center Francis Pare, Hartford defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti, Iowa defenseman Adrian Veideman, Lowell goaltender Jeff Frazee, Manchester goaltender Jonathan Bernier, Milwaukee goaltender Mark Dekanich, Providence right wing Mikko Lehtonen, Quad City goaltender Leland Irving, Rochester right wing Michael Duco, Syracuse right wing Maksim Mayorov and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton left wing Luca Caputi.