Wolves teammates capture AHL scoring titles

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … Chicago Wolves forwards Andrew Poturalski and Stefan Noesen have won the American Hockey League’s two prestigious offensive awards for the 2021-22 season.

Poturalski has won the John B. Sollenberger Trophy as the leading point-getter in the AHL for the second consecutive season, while Noesen has captured the Willie Marshall Award as the AHL’s leading goal scorer in 2021-22.

A sixth-year pro from Williamsville, N.Y., Poturalski finished the 2021-22 season with 28 goals and 73 assists for 101 points in 71 games for Chicago, becoming the first AHL player in 12 years to reach the century mark for a season. Poturalski is just the fifth skater ever to win back-to-back AHL scoring titles, joining Peter White (1996-97, 1997-98), Paul Gardner (1985-86 and 1986-87), Bill Sweeney (1960-61, 1961-62 and 1962-63), and Jack Markle (1936-37 and 1937-38).

Poturalski was named a First Team AHL All-Star for 2021-22, and was the AHL Player of the Month for October and a two-time recipient of AHL Player of the Week honors. Over his career, he has skated in 370 AHL games, totaling 105 goals and 222 assists for 327 points. He was also the MVP of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs when he helped Charlotte to the championship.

Noesen scored a league-best 48 goals in 70 games for Chicago, finishing third in the overall scoring race with 85 points. He led the league with 13 game-winning goals, and was first among all AHL forwards with a plus-35 rating. Noesen, whose previous personal high for goals in a pro season was 21, authored 12 multiple-goal games on the year including his first career hat trick.

Voted a First Team AHL All-Star this season, Noesen’s 48 goals were the most by any AHL skater since 2009-10. The native of Plano, Texas, has collected 88 goals and 91 assists for 179 points in 224 career AHL games, as well as 31 goals and 23 assists in 207 NHL contests.

The AHL’s leading-scorer trophy was originally named after Wally Kilrea, who held the AHL’s single-season scoring record when the award was instituted in 1947-48. That year, Carl Liscombe broke Kilrea’s record, and the award was renamed in his honor. In 1955, the AHL Board of Governors voted to name the trophy after John B. Sollenberger, a long-time contributor to the league as manager and president of the Hershey Bears and former Chairman of the AHL Board of Governors. Previous winners of the John B. Sollenberger Trophy include Fred Glover (1957, ’60), Willie Marshall (1958), Bill Sweeney (1961, ’62, ’63), Don Blackburn (1972), Paul Gardner (1985, ’86), Bruce Boudreau (1988), Peter White (1995, ’97, ’98), Derek Armstrong (2001), Jason Spezza (2005), Alexandre Giroux (2009), Keith Aucoin (2010), Brandon Pirri (2013), Travis Morin (2014), Chris Bourque (2016), Chris Terry (2018), Carter Verhaeghe (2019) and Sam Anas (2020).

The AHL’s goal-scoring award was established in 2004 to honor Willie Marshall, the AHL’s all-time leader in goals, assists, points and games played; winners include Mike Cammalleri (2005), Alexandre Giroux (2009, ’10), Tyler Johnson (2013), Frank Vatrano (2016), Carter Verhaeghe (2019), Alex Barre-Boulet (2019), Gerry Mayhew (2020) and Cooper Marody (2021). Other previous yearly goal-scoring leaders include Bryan Hextall (1937), Lou Trudel (1942, ’45), Fred Glover (1951), Dunc Fisher (1958), Jimmy Anderson (1961, ’64), Yvon Lambert (1973), Gordie Clark (1980), Paul Gardner (1985, ’86), Jody Gage (1988) and Brad Smyth (1996, 2001).

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.