Boychuk Named AHL's Top Defenseman
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins, in their 17th season in the American Hockey League, announced today that defenseman Johnny Boychuk has been named the league's winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL's outstanding defenseman, as voted by AHL coaches, players and media in each of the league's 29 member cities.
Boychuk, 25, has had a banner week in the awards department. The Eddie Shore Award is the blue-liner's third league honor in as many days after being named a 2008-09 AHL First Team All-Star on Thursday and the co-winner of the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for March on Wednesday, sharing the award with the Peoria Rivermen's Justin Fletcher. The fifth-year Boychuk finished March with 13 points, including five goals, along with a plus-12 rating.
Boychuk paces all AHL defensemen in several offensive categories, including points (63), goals (20), assists (43), power play goals (10), shots (273) and game-winning-goals (5). His 63 points in 73 games lead his team and also rank first all-time for points in a single-season by a P-Bruins defenseman, eclipsing the 62 totaled previously by Jeff Serowik (1994-95) and Brandon Smith (1998-99). Boychuk's 273 shots on goal, with six games remaining the regular season, are already the most by an AHL defenseman since 2002.
In addition, Boychuk has a plus-21 rating, 14 multiple-point games and 34 power play points (10g, 24a), the latter good for first on the team. This season, the 2009 Canadian All-Star starter was named the P-Bruins' Player of the Month in October after totaling 12 points, including 10 assists, in eight games and he was awarded the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week honor on October 20, 2008 following a seven-point (g, 6a) three-game stretch.
Boychuk is in his first season with the Boston Bruins organization. He made his National Hockey League season debut on December 4, 2008 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, going scoreless in a 3-1 Boston win. He enjoyed previous NHL experience last season during a scoreless four-game stint with the Colorado Avalanche after spending most of the year with the Lake Erie Monsters. Boston acquired Boychuk on June 24, 2008 from Colorado in a trade for center Matt Hendricks. He was originally drafted by the Avalanche 61st overall in the second round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Since, the Edmonton, Alberta native has played for Boston, Colorado, Providence, Lake Erie, the Albany River Rats, Lowell Lock Monsters and Hershey.
This award, which was first presented by the AHL in 1959, honors the late Eddie Shore, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and the American Hockey League Hall of Fame. He is widely regarded as one of hockey's greatest defensemen.
Shore won a total of five Calder Cups in his career, including two as the general manager of the Buffalo Bisons and three as the longtime owner of the Springfield Indians. Previous winners include Steve Kraftcheck (1959), Al Arbour (1965), Noel Price (1970, '72, '76), Brian Engblom (1977), Terry Murray (1978, '79), Brad Shaw (1987), Dave Fenyves (1988, '89), Eric Weinrich (1990), Darren Rumble (1997), John Slaney (2001, '02), Curtis Murphy (2003, '04), Niklas Kronwall (2005), Sheldon Brookbank (2007) and Andrew Hutchinson (2008).
Jeff Serowik previously won the award for Providence during the 1994-95 campaign.
Providence Bruins single game tickets are on sale for the 2008-09 season. To purchase tickets or to learn more information, call the P-Bruins ticket office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at providencebruins.com.
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