Wolves’ Agostino voted AHL MVP

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that forward Kenny Agostino of the Chicago Wolves has been voted the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s most valuable player for the 2016-17 season.

The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.

In his third professional season, Agostino is running away with the AHL scoring title and has set career bests with 24 goals, 59 assists, 83 points and a plus-22 rating in 65 games for Chicago. He has had 22 multiple-point games – highlighted by a four-goal, five-point performance at Iowa on Dec. 31 – and he racked up 22 points during an 11-game scoring streak from Dec. 18 to Jan. 8. Agostino, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for December, enters the final weekend of the regular season with 16 more points than any other skater in the AHL – a margin that would be the largest atop the league’s scoring leaderboard since 2008. Named a First Team AHL All-Star last week, Agostino also appeared in his first career AHL All-Star Classic in January.

The 24-year-old native of Morristown, N.J., has been his team’s leading scorer in each of his three AHL seasons, totaling 62 goals and 121 assists for 183 points in 197 career games with Chicago, the Stockton Heat and the Adirondack Flames. Originally selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Agostino joined the Calgary Flames following his senior season at Yale University, where he won a national championship in 2013, and signed as a free agent with St. Louis on July 2, 2016. Agostino has five points in 17 career NHL games, including one goal and two assist in seven games with the Blues this season.

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), Darren Haydar (2007), Keith Aucoin (2010), Tyler Johnson (2013), Travis Morin (2014) and Chris Bourque (2016).

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 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 2016-17 regular season ends Saturday, and then 16 clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.