AHL Announces Two More Awards

Chicago Wolves netminder Jake Allen’s great season has just been recognized by the AHL as he claims this season’s Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the league’s most outstanding goalie. (Photo Credit: Ross Bonander)

This afternoon the AHL announced the winners of the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award (AHL’s most outstanding goaltender) and the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award (2013-14 IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year).

Jake Allen took home this season’s honors for the league’s best goaltender this season. Here in Milwaukee we have seen first hand in the Amtrak Rivalry this season just how lethal he can be to go head-to-head against: 8 games played, 6 wins, 2 shootout losses, 1.69 goals against average, 0.933 save percentage, and 1 shutout.

AHL’s Press Release:

Entering the final weekend of the regular season, Allen has a record of 32-16-3 in 51 appearances for the Wolves, helping them to a berth in the upcoming Calder Cup Playoffs. Allen ranks first in the AHL in victories, goals-against average (2.07) and save percentage (.927) as he bids to become just the second goaltender since 1984-85 to lead the league in all three categories. Allen is also pacing all goalies in minutes played (3,078) and is tied for first with six shutouts on the season, while ranking second in both shots faced (1,447) and saves (1,341).

A 23-year-old native of Fredericton, N.B., Allen represented the Wolves at the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic in St. John’s in February, and was named a First Team AHL All-Star last week. Selected by St. Louis in the second round (34th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Allen was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team last season after a successful 15-game stint with the Blues. Allen has played 171 career AHL games with Chicago and Peoria over his four pro seasons, compiling a record of 83-74-10 with a 2.55 GAA, a .917 save percentage and 15 shutouts.

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), Dany Sabourin (2006), Michael Leighton (2008), Cory Schneider (2009), Jonathan Bernier (2010), Brad Thiessen (2011), Yann Danis (2012) and Niklas Svedberg (2013).

The other award announced today was the one I had high hopes in which we could see Mark Van Guilder‘s name mentioned: the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award aka 2013-14 IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. This distinction instead went to Eric Neilson of the Syracuse Crunch.

AHL’s Press Release:

This award has been presented annually since 1998 to an AHL player for his outstanding contributions to his local community and charitable organizations. The Yanick Dupré Memorial Award winner is selected by the AHL and representatives from IOA and American Specialty from among 30 individual team Man of the Year honorees.

A six-time recipient of his team’s Yanick Dupré Award nomination (in five different AHL cities), Neilson has continued an impressive tradition of community service that has been a hallmark of his career. Since joining the Crunch organization in 2012, Neilson has gone above and beyond in his efforts to give back to the Syracuse community.

Neilson’s efforts this year were highlighted by his creation of the “Breakfast with a Champion” program, designing, developing and executing his initiative designed to teach elementary school students the importance of nutrition and healthy eating. Neilson was involved in every step of the program’s planning process, from pitching it to local schools to shopping for groceries to supplying students with tickets to Crunch games as rewards for their participation.

Neilson’s commitment to children was also seen in his work with as the primary speaker in the Crunch’s anti-bullying program, and as the team’s main spokesman for Upstate University Hospital including their “safe kids” public service initiative about concussion prevention. He dedicated time to issues such as men’s and women’s health causes also, generating awareness for breast cancer and heading up the team’s winning “Mustache Movember” team for prostate cancer research.

The AHL’s annual Man of the Year award is named after the late Yanick Dupré, who passed away in 1997 at the age of 24 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. A second-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1991, Dupré played four seasons in the AHL with the Hershey Bears and was an AHL All-Star in 1995.

The final AHL award will be announced tomorrow. That award of course will be the Les Cunningham Award for AHL’s 2013-14 MVP.

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