Conacher Named AHL Rookie of the Year

(Norfolk Admirals press release) The American Hockey League announced today that forward Cory Conacher of the Norfolk Admirals has been named the winner of the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding rookie for the 2011-12 season, as voted by AHL coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 30 member cities.

Conacher signed with Norfolk following four seasons at Canisius College and an impressive training camp with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and has been one of the top scorers in the league since opening the year with 12 points in nine games during October. Conacher, who only once has gone more than two games without a point this season, leads all AHL rookies with 75 points and ranks second in goals (35) and assists (40) while showing a plus-13 rating in 72 games for the Admirals. He is also first among rookies in power-play goals (14) and game-winning goals (seven). A 22-year-old native of Burlington, Ont., Conacher represented Norfolk at the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic and tied game highs with two goals and three points in the contest. Named an All-Rookie Team member and a Second Team AHL All-Star at left wing last week, Conacher signed a two-year deal with the Lightning on Mar. 1.

Conacher becomes the third Norfolk player to win the Garrett Award, joining Tyler Arnason (2001-02) and Rene Bourque (2004-05).

This award, which was first presented by the AHL in 1947, honors the late Dudley (Red) Garrett, a promising young player who lost his life during World War II while serving in the Royal Canadian Navy. Garrett split his only pro season, 1942-43, between the AHL’s Providence Reds and the NHL’s New York Rangers.

Previous winners of the Garrett Award include Terry Sawchuk (1949), Wally Hergesheimer (1951), Jimmy Anderson (1955), Bill Sweeney (1958), Roger Crozier (1964), Gerry Desjardins (1968), Rick Middleton (1974), Darryl Sutter (1980), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), Steve Thomas (1985), Ron Hextall (1986), Brett Hull (1987), Felix Potvin (1992), Darcy Tucker (1996), Daniel Briere (1998), Darren Haydar (2003), Rene Bourque (2005), Patrick O’Sullivan (2006), Brett Sterling (2007), Teddy Purcell (2008), Nathan Gerbe (2009), Tyler Ennis (2010) and Luke Adam (2011).