SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that forward T.J. Tynan of the Ontario Reign has been voted the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s most valuable player for the 2021-22 season.
The award was voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 31 cities.
Tynan becomes just the fifth player in league history to win back-to-back MVP awards, joining Paul Gardner (1985-86), Gilles Villemure (1969-70), Johnny Bower (1956-57-58) and Carl Liscombe (1948-49), and the seventh to win at least twice in his career.
Tynan recorded 98 points in 62 games for the Reign in 2021-22, an average of 1.58 points per game that is the highest for any skater over a full AHL season in the last 15 years. His 84 assists tied for the third-most in a season in AHL history, and he remarkably went consecutive games without an assist just twice all year. His production included 32 multiple-point games – compared to just 11 games with zero points – and a 13-game assist streak from Mar. 22 to Apr. 22 that was the longest in the AHL since 2012.
Tynan factored in on the scoring of 49 Ontario power-play goals (three goals, 46 assists) – 12 AHL teams did not score that many power-play goals all season – as the Reign set an AHL record for efficiency at 27.5 percent as part of their league-leading offense in 2021-22.
A native of Orland Park, Ill., Tynan has played 498 AHL games and is the AHL’s leading scorer since he made his debut in April 2014, totaling 85 goals and 361 assists for 446 points. The three-time AHL All-Star won a Calder Cup championship with Lake Erie in 2016 and reached the Finals with Chicago in 2019, and has recorded 26 points in 46 AHL postseason games – including two in two games so far this spring. Tynan was a third-round selection by Columbus in the 2011 NHL Draft and has skated in 21 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets, Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings, posting one assist.
The AHL’s most valuable player award honors the late Les Cunningham, a member of the AHL Hall of Fame who was a five-time league All-Star and three-time Calder Cup champion with the Cleveland Barons. Previous winners of the award include Carl Liscombe (1948, ’49), Johnny Bower (1956, ’57, ’58), Fred Glover (1960, ’62, ’64), Mike Nykoluk (1967), Gilles Villemure (1969, ’70), Doug Gibson (1975, ’77), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), Paul Gardner (1985, ’86), Tim Tookey (1987), Jody Gage (1988), John Anderson (1992), Don Biggs (1993), Derek Armstrong (2001), Jason Spezza (2005), Keith Aucoin (2010), Tyler Johnson (2013), Travis Morin (2014), Chris Bourque (2016), Kenny Agostino (2017), Daniel Carr (2019) and Gerry Mayhew (2020).
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.