After rounding the corner of the unofficial mid-season mark of the professional hockey season, it’s time to once again have a look at some players in line for some AHL hardware. This month I’ll be handing out my projected awards. While my choices could be worth this article’s weight in paper by season end, it’s also a fair representation of how the year has played out so far. For reference, before looking at my choices for this year’s mid-season awards, I’d like to take a look back on the same topic that I touched on at this time in 2018. Although I hadn’t filled an entire columns with the topic last time around, I did make the selections, and I think it’s important to recap on those in order to get an idea of where this year’s projected winners could end up in a year from now.
Les Cunningham Award (MVP)
My 2018 Pick – Dylan Strome, Tuscon Roadrunners | 17g 24a +9 in 32 GP
My 2018 Runner up – Michael Huchinson, Manitoba Moose
Actual Winner – Phil Varone | 23g 47a +9 in 74 GP
Well, Strome did not win the Les Cunningham Award for the AHL’s MVP… rather it was given to Phil Varone of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms… boring…
After losing out to the veteran Varone, Strome kicked off the 2018-19 campaign in the NHL with the Coyotes and was subsequently dealt to the Blackhawks. After an ice cold start with the ‘Yotes, the move to Chicago was just what the doctor ordered for the younger Strome brother. Through 30 games he’s maintained nearly a point per game pace… amazing what some old OHL chemistry, and time with Patrick Kane will do.
2019 Pick – Daniel Carr, Chicago Wolves | 24g 34a +28 in 41 GP