A numerical and statistical look at forward Phil Varone’s first professional season with the Rochester Americans during the 2011-12 American Hockey League season.
VARONE'S BREAKOUT YEAR: Despite a rather quiet first half of the season, Varone came to form at the turn of the New Year and never looked back as he cruised to the top of Rochester’s scoring leaders. Varone, who started the season with just six points in the first 23 games, erupted for 46 points over the last 53 games to finish as the Amerks’ top point-getter with 52 points (11+41). The first-year pro’s late-season surge would be the fourth-highest point total in the AHL during that span as he was held scoreless just 13 times over the last 34 contests. He was named the Amerks’ Scoring Champion, in addition to earning Most Improved honors as voted by his teammates.
MAN OF STEEL: Varone was the only Amerk this season to appear in all 79 combined games, which included all 76 regular season contests and Rochester’s three first-round playoff tilts against Toronto. Varone’s full slate of appearances also marked the fourth time in the last five seasons that at least one player dressed for each regular season game. Varone also became the first Amerks rookie to skate in every regular season outing since Paul Gaustad’s 80-game season during the 2002-03 campaign.
BY THE NUMBERS...
52: His team-high 52 points ranked 10th among AHL freshmen, finishing the season as one of just four AHL rookies to lead their respective teams in scoring.
41: Varone’s 41 assists tied him for the most among league rookies and 12th overall in the AHL in that category.
34: Was held scoreless in just 34 out of 76 games this season.
20: Recorded at least one point in 20 of the last 32 games of the season.
17: Closed out the campaign with a +17 on-ice rating, good enough for second on the team and tied for sixth among first-year skaters.
11: He posted 11 multi-point games over the regular season, including a pair of three-point outings in the month of February. The 24 points (3+21) accounted for almost half of his season point total.
7: Had a season-long seven-game point streak of four goals and five assists between Dec. 21 and Jan. 8, the longest of any active player this season.
3: Scored three goals on four shootout attempts (.750 percentage), two of which proved to be game-winning tallies, and finished behind only fellow Amerk Jonathan Parker for the highest shootout success rate among league rookies.
2: Netted two of Rochester’s nine shorthanded goals, the most among any Amerks player this season.