San Antonio Rampage forward Mikko Rantanen and Providence Bruins forward Frank Vatrano will share the AHL’s Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award for the league’s best rookie.
Their sharing the award is the result of a tie in the voting, which is done by league coaches, players and media.
The 19-year-old Rantanen was selected 10th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2015 NHL draft. He was one of the youngest players in the AHL this season, but that didn’t stop him from thriving for San Antonio.
He led all rookies in scoring and was sixth overall with 24 goals and 60 points. He led the Rampage in goals, assists, points and plus/minus (+19). As the league announcement notes, he’s just the seventh teenage skater to cross 60 points in a single AHL season.
— American Hockey League (@TheAHL) April 14, 2016
The 22-year-old Vatrano played just 34 games in the AHL this season, but still managed to put up 51 points for Providence. He led the league in points per game at 1.5 and is just the fourth player to average over a goal per game with a minimum of 30 games.
He additionally tied an AHL record by putting up three unassisted goals in a single game. It was one of three hat tricks he had on the season.
The Boston Bruins signed Vatrano as an un-drafted free agent out of UMASS Amherst last spring.
Last season’s winner was Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray. Other recent winners include Curtis McKenzie, Tyler Toffoli, Tyler Ennis, Nathan Gerbe, Teddy Purcell and Rene Bourque.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.