2007 AHL MVP Haydar Among Six Assigned to Wolves
The Atlanta Thrashers have assigned 2007 American Hockey League Most Valuable Player DARREN HAYDAR to the Chicago Wolves. In addition, the Thrashers have assigned forwards JORDAN LaVALLEE (LAH-VALLEY) and COLIN STUART, defensemen JOEL KWIATKOWSKI (KWEE-at-KOW-skee) and BORIS VALABIK (VA-lah-bik) and goaltender ONDREJ PAVELEC (AWN-dray pah-vah-LEK) to the Wolves.
HAYDAR became the first Wolves player to earn the AHL's highest individual honor last season when he was named the recipient of the Les Cunningham Award as the league's most valuable player. The 27-year-old forward also collected the John B. Sollenberger Trophy, presented annually to the league's scoring leader, after pacing the AHL with 81 assists and 122 points - both career-highs - and sharing third with a career-best 41 goals in 73 regular-season games.
The Milton, Ontario native also ranked first in the AHL in postseason scoring, despite being eliminated in the conference finals, with 10 goals and 24 points, and shared second with 14 assists in 15 playoff outings for Chicago. HAYDAR's 146 total points last season (122 regular-season, 24 postseason), fell four shy of the highest combined point total in AHL history.
A member of the 2006-07 AHL First All-Star Team, HAYDAR made history last year with a stretch that saw him record at least one point in 39 consecutive games (Oct. 7 - Jan. 6), a mark that tied Wayne Gretzky's 1985-86 run with the Edmonton Oilers as the fourth-longest streak in professional hockey history. He posted 79 points (24G, 55A) during his historic run, which is both an AHL and franchise record.
LaVALLEE made his professional debut with Chicago last season, ranking second among team rookies with 16 goals and third with 34 points in 79 outings. The 21-year-old forward tied for first among AHL first-year pros and sixth overall with seven goals in 14 playoff games to help the Wolves reach the conference finals.
STUART, a native of Oak Park, set career-highs with 18 goals and 29 points in 67 regular-season matchups with the Wolves last season, while adding five assists and seven points in 15 postseason contests. The 25-year-old forward has appeared in 184 career games with Chicago since making his professional debut in 2004-05, racking up 34 goals, 61 points and 152 penalty minutes.
VALABIK was also a member of the 2006-07 Wolves squad that reached the conference finals, racking up a team-high 184 penalty minutes, while pocketing seven assists and nine points in 50 regular-season games during his rookie campaign.
KWAITKOWSI has appeared in 264 career NHL games, posting 40 points (16G, 24A) and 225 penalty minutes with the Ottawa Senators (2001-2003), Washington Capitals (2003-2004), Florida Panthers (2005-2007) and Pittsburgh Penguins (2007). Last year, the 30-year-old blueliner posted five goals and 10 points in 41 games with Florida and was held scoreless in one tilt with Pittsburgh.
PAVELEC will be making his professional debut this season after wrapping up a two-year junior career with Cape Breton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2006-07. The 20-year-old goaltender was selected to the QMJHL First All-Star Team in both 2006 and 2007 and led all league netminders last season with a 2.52 goals-against average.
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