Pirri, Kyrou, Smith award winners for December

Photos: Ross Dettman, Darren Abate, Hartford Wolf Pack

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Chicago Wolves forward Brandon Pirri, San Antonio Rampage forward Jordan Kyrou and Bridgeport Sound Tigers goaltender Jeremy Smith have been selected as the league’s award winners for December.

Pirri, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month, tallied eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points in just eight games for Chicago during December.

Pirri found the scoresheet in all eight games with the Wolves last month, including six multiple-point efforts. He had a goal and an assist on Dec. 2 vs. Texas before notching four assists in a 4-3 overtime win at Iowa on Dec. 5. Pirri recorded a hat trick – the third of his AHL career – as the Wolves took a 4-0 decision at Rockford on Dec. 8, and he helped Chicago to a weekend sweep of Tucson with a goal and an assist in a 4-2 victory on Dec. 15 and two more goals in a 5-1 win the next day. Pirri capped the AHL portion of his month with a goal and two assists as the Wolves downed Texas, 6-1, on Dec. 18.

Recalled by Vegas on Dec. 19, Pirri has gone on to collect six goals and nine points in seven NHL games since joining the Golden Knights.

Pirri continues to lead the AHL with 41 points (17 goals, 24 assists) in 28 games with Chicago this season. The 27-year-old Toronto native is a two-time AHL All-Star who won the league scoring title in 2012-13, and has totaled 114 goals and 179 assists for 293 points in 323 career contests with Chicago and Rockford. Originally a second-round draft choice by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009, Pirri has skated in 235 games in the NHL with Chicago, Florida, Anaheim, the N.Y. Rangers and Vegas, compiling 66 goals and 44 assists for 110 points.

Kyrou, the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month, registered six goals and nine assists for 15 points in nine games for San Antonio in December.

Kyrou began the month with a goal and an assist – his third straight two-point performance – in a 5-3 win at Chicago on Dec. 1, then scored again the next night in Rockford. Following a week-long stint in the NHL, Kyrou returned to the Rampage lineup on Dec. 14 and notched three assists before netting the decisive shootout goal to secure a 4-3 victory over Iowa. He scored the winning goal and added two assists in a 5-2 win over the Wild on Dec. 16, and had his first two-goal game as a pro on Dec. 27 at Texas. Kyrou wound up with points in all nine of his games played for San Antonio during December, extending his scoring streak to 11 contests (8g, 11a).

A second-round pick by St. Louis in the 2016 NHL Draft, Kyrou has totaled nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points in 21 games with San Antonio this season, as well as one goal and one assist in 11 NHL contests with the Blues. The 20-year-old native of Toronto played four junior seasons with Sarnia and won the Ontario Hockey League’s Most Outstanding Player trophy in 2017-18. Kyrou was also a gold medalist with Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Smith, the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month, allowed 15 goals on 218 shots during December, posting a 6-1-0 record with a 2.12 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage.

After making a season-high 34 saves in an overtime win at Springfield on Dec. 2, Smith stopped 25 of 26 shots and backstopped Bridgeport to a 2-1 win over Hartford on Dec. 5. He turned aside 29 shots in a 6-1 win over league-leading Charlotte on Dec. 21, and closed out the 2018 portion of the schedule with a 31-save effort in a 3-2 overtime victory at Hartford on Dec. 29.

Smith has made 18 appearances in net for Bridgeport this season, going 11-5-1 with a 2.62 GAA and a .909 save percentage. The 10th-year pro from Dearborn, Mich., has played a total of 313 games in the AHL with Bridgeport, Charlotte, San Antonio, Iowa, Providence, Springfield and Milwaukee, compiling a record of 156-116-22 with a 2.46 GAA, a .915 save percentage and 13 shutouts. Originally a second-round pick by Nashville in the 2007 NHL Draft, Smith made his NHL debut with Colorado in 2016-17, appearing in 10 contests.

Each monthly award winner will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming home game in recognition of his achievement.