WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The American Hockey League announced today that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins captain Tom Kostopoulos has been named the 2015-16 winner of the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award as the AHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.
The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.
In his 17th season of professional hockey, Kostopoulos has continued to perform at a high level with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, needing one goal to secure his sixth career 20-goal season and ranking second on the team in scoring with 48 points in 69 games thus far – his highest offensive production since 2005. Now in the third year of his second stint as Penguins captain (2002-04, 2013- ), Kostopoulos joined exclusive company on Mar. 6, 2016 when he became just the fourth player in hockey history to skate in 600 regular-season games in both the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League. He remains synonymous with leadership and character both within the organization and by opponents around the AHL, as evidenced by the many young Pittsburgh Penguins prospects who have learned the professional game under his guidance.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s franchise all-time leader in games played, goals, assists and points, Kostopoulos has totaled 182 goals and 281 assists for 463 points in 611 AHL games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Manchester, along with 61 goals and 96 assists for 157 points in 630 NHL contests with Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Montreal, Carolina, Calgary and New Jersey. A native of Mississauga, Ont., Kostopoulos also has 60 points in 82 Calder Cup Playoff contests, helping the Penguins reach the Calder Cup Final in 2001 and 2004.
This award, which was first presented by the AHL in 1978, honors the late Fred T. Hunt, a long-time contributor to the league who won three Calder Cup championships as a player and three more as a general manager during a career spent primarily with the AHL’s Buffalo Bisons and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.
Kostopoulos is the first recipient of the award in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 16-year franchise history.
Previous winners of the award include Ross Yates (1983), Glenn Merkosky (1987, ’91), Bruce Boudreau (1988), Murray Eaves (’89, ’90), John Anderson (1992), Tim Tookey (1993), Ken Gernander (1996, 2004), Randy Cunneyworth (2000), Mike Keane (2007), Ajay Baines (2009), Bryan Helmer (2011), Chris Minard (2012), Brandon Davidson (2013), Jake Dowell (2014) and Jeff Hoggan (2015).
The Penguins’ next home game is tonight, Friday, Apr. 8, against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Tonight’s contest is the final Eyewitness News Fan Fridays game this season. All tickets with the exception of glass seats are available for $14, and select beers can be purchased for $2 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Individual tickets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton games can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, through all Ticketmaster outlets, or by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton season ticket packages for the 2016-17 season are on sale now and are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.