Heat’s Wolf wins Baz Bastien Memorial Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Dustin Wolf of the Stockton Heat is the winner of the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender 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.

Named to the AHL All-Rookie team and the AHL First All-Star team last week, Wolf finished his first pro season with a record of 33-9-4 and ranked among the league’s leaders in wins (first), minutes played (2,809 – second), saves (1,341 – second), save percentage (.924 – fourth) and goals-against average (2.35 – eighth). Wolf did not suffer a regulation loss until Jan. 4 (going 15-0-2 in his first 17 decisions), and allowed two goals or fewer in 32 of his 47 appearances overall. He helped the Heat to their first Pacific Division title and the second-best record in the entire AHL; Stockton also finished third in the league allowing 2.72 goals per game (despite being 14th in shots allowed at 30.1 per game), and had the highest penalty-killing efficiency in the AHL at 86.6 percent.

A 21-year-old native of nearby Gilroy, Calif., Wolf was a seventh-round choice by the Calgary Flames in the 2019 NHL Draft. He played junior hockey with Everett in the Western Hockey League and was the WHL’s Goaltender of the Year in both 2019-20 and 2020-21.

The Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award, which was first presented in 1984, honors former Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Baz Bastien, who played four seasons in goal with the AHL’s Pittsburgh Hornets (1945-49) before suffering a career-ending eye injury. Bastien would go on to serve as head coach and general manager of the Hornets, leading them to the 1967 Calder Cup championship. Previous winners of the award include Jon Casey (1985), Sam St. Laurent (1986), Mark Laforest (1987, 1991), Felix Potvin (1992), Corey Hirsch (1993), Manny Legace (1996), Martin Biron (1999), Dwayne Roloson (2001), Jason LaBarbera (2004, 2007), Ryan Miller (2005), Michael Leighton (2008), Cory Schneider (2009), Jonathan Bernier (2010), Jake Allen (2014), Matt Murray (2015), Peter Budaj (2016), Troy Grosenick (2017), Garret Sparks (2018), Alex Nedeljkovic (2019), Kaapo Kahkonen (2020) and Logan Thompson (2021).

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.

The winner of the 2021-22 Eddie Shore Award (outstanding defenseman) will be announced Friday.

Photo: Abbotsford Canucks