SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that forward Gerry Mayhew of the Iowa Wild has been voted the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s most valuable player for the 2019-20 season.
The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 31 cities.
Mayhew scored a league-best 39 goals – the most by an AHL skater since 2011-12 – and finished third with 61 points in 49 games, helping Iowa to the best regular-season record in franchise history. Ten of Mayhew’s goals were game-winners and he registered 11 multiple-goal outings, including a natural hat trick in a 3-0 win over San Diego on Feb. 14. Mayhew tied a franchise mark with a 10-game scoring streak from Dec. 12 to Jan. 10 and earned CCM/AHL Player of the Month honors for January after totaling 12 goals and 19 points in 11 contests. Among Mayhew’s 39 tallies were 13 power-play goals and two shorthanded markers, and he also led the Wild in plus/minus rating at plus-16. Iowa was 26-7-1-2 in games when Mayhew registered a point.
Mayhew represented Iowa at the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic and was voted a Second Team AHL All-Star at left wing for 2019-20. He also made his National Hockey League debut this season, notching two goals in 13 games with Minnesota – including a goal in his first appearance on Oct. 15 at Toronto.
A native of Wyandotte, Mich., Mayhew turned pro with Iowa in 2017 after four years at Ferris State University, and spent his first two pro seasons on an AHL contract before signing with Minnesota on May 10, 2019. He has skated in 209 regular-season games with Iowa and has compiled 88 goals and 72 assists for 160 points; he added nine goals and two assists in 11 Calder Cup Playoff games with the Wild in 2019.
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), Cory Conacher (2012), Tyler Johnson (2013), Travis Morin (2014), Chris Bourque (2016), Kenny Agostino (2017), Phil Varone (2018) and Daniel Carr (2019).
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 31 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.