Wolves teammates claim AHL scoring honors

Photo: Ross Dettman

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.Kenny Agostino of the Chicago Wolves has won the John B. Sollenberger Trophy as the leading scorer in the American Hockey League, while teammate Wade Megan has won the Willie Marshall Award as the AHL’s leading goal scorer for the 2016-17 campaign.

17sollenberger_agostinoThis is the first league scoring title for Kenny Agostino, who was also voted the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s most valuable player and a First Team AHL All-Star this season. The third-year pro led the league with 59 assists and 83 points in 65 games, winning the scoring title with 15 more points than any other skater in the league. Agostino, who also tied for seventh in the league in plus/minus (+24), had 22 multiple-point games on the season, highlighted by a four-goal, five-point performance at Iowa on Dec. 31.

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 assists in seven games with the Blues this season.

The AHL’s leading-scorer trophy was originally named after Wally Kilrea, who held the AHL’s single-season scoring record when the award was instituted in 1947-48. That year, Carl Liscombe broke Kilrea’s record, and the award was renamed in his honor. In 1955, the AHL Board of Governors voted to name the trophy after John B. Sollenberger, a long-time contributor to the league as manager and president of the Hershey Bears and former Chairman of the AHL Board of Governors. Previous winners of the John B. Sollenberger Trophy include Fred Glover (1957, ’60), Willie Marshall (1958), Bill Sweeney (1961, ’62, ’63), Don Blackburn (1972), Paul Gardner (1985, ’86), Bruce Boudreau (1988), Peter White (1995, ’97, ’98), Derek Armstrong (2001), Jason Spezza (2005), Alexandre Giroux (2009), Keith Aucoin (2010), Corey Locke (2011), Brandon Pirri (2013), Travis Morin (2014) and Chris Bourque (2016).

17marshall_meganA First Team AHL All-Star for 2016-17, Wade Megan led the league with 33 goals after having scored 34 goals in his first 190 career AHL games. He also tied for fourth in both points (66) and plus/minus (+27), tied for second with seven game-winning markers and finished one off the league lead with three shorthanded tallies.

A 26-year-old native of Canton, N.Y., Megan played three National Hockey League games with St. Louis this season, scoring a goal in his NHL debut on Dec. 22. The fourth-year pro has registered 67 goals and 53 assists for 120 points in 263 career AHL games with Chicago, Portland and San Antonio since turning pro after four seasons at Boston University. Megan was originally selected by Florida in the fifth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

The AHL’s goal-scoring award was established in 2004 to honor Willie Marshall, the AHL’s all-time leader in goals, assists, points and games played; winners include Mike Cammalleri (2005), Alexandre Giroux (2009, ’10), Colin McDonald (2011), Cory Conacher (2012), Tyler Johnson (2013), Teemu Pulkkinen (2015) and Frank Vatrano (2016). Other previous yearly goal-scoring leaders include Bryan Hextall (1937), Lou Trudel (1942, ’45), Fred Glover (1951), Dunc Fisher (1958), Jimmy Anderson (1961, ’64), Yvon Lambert (1973), Gordie Clark (1980), Paul Gardner (1985, ’86), Jody Gage (1988) and Brad Smyth (1996, 2001).

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. Sixteen clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway Thursday.