Vanek named Player of the Week

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Rochester Americans left wing Thomas Vanek has been named the CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending April 17, 2005. In four games, Vanek scored seven goals and added two assists for nine points as the Americans clinched the best record in the AHL for the 2004-05 regular season.

Vanek scored two goals and converted on his shootout attempt in a 4-3 win over St. John’s on Monday night, Rochester’s 50th victory of the season. He came back with an assist in Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Maple Leafs, then scored two more goals and added another assist in a 5-3 win at Hamilton on Friday. Vanek capped his memorable rookie season by scoring three power-play goals in a 7-4 loss to Syracuse on Saturday. In recognition of his achievement, Vanek will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Americans home game.

The fifth overall pick (by Buffalo) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Vanek finished second in the entire AHL with 42 goals and ranked second among AHL rookies with 68 points in 74 games for Rochester in 2004-05. A member of the 2004-05 AHL All-Rookie Team and runner-up in the voting for the Dudley “Red” Garrett Award as rookie of the year, the 21-year-old native of Graz, Austria, led the league with 25 power-play goals, two off the AHL single-season record.

Other nominees for CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week include Binghamton left wing Denis Hamel, Chicago right wing J.P. Vigier, Cleveland left wing Ryane Clowe, Edmonton forward Brad Winchester, Grand Rapids center Eric Himelfarb, Hamilton forward Tomas Plekanec, Houston goaltender Mike Smith, Lowell forward Chad Larose, Manchester right wing Tom Kostopoulos, Portland right wing Brian Willsie, San Antonio center Vince Bellissimo, Springfield defenseman Paul Ranger, St. John’s right wing David Ling and Syracuse defenseman Francois Beauchemin.

2004-05 CCM Vector/AHL Players of the Week
Oct. 17 – Jason King, MTB
Oct. 24 – Aaron Voros, ALB
Oct. 31 – Kyle Wellwood, STJ
Nov. 7 – Dustin Brown, MCH
Nov. 14 – Ryan Miller, ROC
Nov. 21 – Patrice Bergeron, PRO
Nov. 28 – Thomas Vanek, ROC
Dec. 5 – Brent Krahn, LOW
Dec. 12 – Aleksander Suglobov, ALB
Dec. 19 – Kris Beech, WBS
Dec. 26 – Jason Spezza, BNG
Jan. 2 – Darren Haydar, MIL
Jan. 9 – Jason Bacashihua, WOR
Jan. 16 – Mike Cammalleri, MCH
Jan. 23 – Jason Spezza, BNG
Jan. 30 – Ryan Miller, ROC
Feb. 6 – Hannu Toivonen, PRO
Feb. 13 – Ryane Clowe, CLE
Feb. 20 – Dieter Kochan, BRI
Feb. 27 – J.P. Vigier, CHI
Mar. 6 – Mike Cammalleri, MCH
Mar. 13 – Jay McClement, WOR
Mar. 20 – Wade Flaherty, MTB
Mar. 27 – Rene Bourque, NOR
Apr. 3 – Joffrey Lupul, CIN
Apr. 10 – Frederic Cassivi, CIN
Apr. 17 – Thomas Vanek, ROC