Terry, Zykov claim AHL scoring titles

Photos: Laval Rocket, Gregg Forwerck

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.Chris Terry of the Laval Rocket has won the John B. Sollenberger Trophy as the leading scorer in the American Hockey League, and Valentin Zykov of the Charlotte Checkers has won the Willie Marshall Award as the AHL’s leading goal scorer for the 2017-18 campaign.

This is the first league scoring title for Chris Terry, who completed his ninth pro season with 32 goals and 39 assists for a career-best 71 points in 62 games for Laval. A First Team AHL All-Star for 2017-18, Terry has skated in 500 career AHL games with Laval, St. John’s, Charlotte and Albany, totaling 183 goals and 257 assists for 440 points.

The 29-year-old native of Brampton, Ont., was drafted by Carolina in 2007 and signed as a free agent with Montreal in 2016; he has 38 points in 152 career NHL games with the Hurricanes and Canadiens.

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) and Kenny Agostino (2017).

Valentin Zykov led the American Hockey League with 33 goals in 63 games for Charlotte this season, 10 more than he scored in his first AHL two seasons combined. Zykov also led the league with 17 power-play goals and set an AHL record for highest shooting percentage (29.5 percent), scoring his goals on just 112 shots. A 22-year-old native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Zykov also skated in 10 NHL games with the Carolina Hurricanes this season, collecting three goals and four assists.

The third-year pro has played 174 career AHL games with Charlotte and Ontario, totaling 56 goals and 46 assists for 102 points. Zykov was originally selected by Los Angeles in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

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), Colin McDonald (2011), Cory Conacher (2012), Tyler Johnson (2013), Teemu Pulkkinen (2015), Frank Vatrano (2016) and Wade Megan (2017). 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 31 National Hockey League teams. More than 87 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. Sixteen clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway Thursday.