Photo by Jim Orlando
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Brandon Pirri of the Rockford IceHogs has won the John B. Sollenberger Trophy as the leading scorer in the American Hockey League for the 2012-13 campaign.
Pirri played all 76 games for Rockford this season and set career highs with 53 assists (tying for the AHL lead) and 75 points, including 19 points in his last nine games as the IceHogs were bidding to reach the Calder Cup Playoffs. Pirri also had a plus-11 rating for the season and scored six game-winning goals for Rockford.
A 22-year-old Toronto native, Pirri has totaled 57 goals and 117 assists for 174 points in 212 games over his three AHL seasons. The second-round draft pick by the Chicago Blackhawks (2009) also has two assists in six career NHL contests.
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), Darren Haydar (2007), Alexandre Giroux (2009), Keith Aucoin (2010), Corey Locke (2011) and Chris Bourque (2012).
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 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway on Friday.