Patrick O’Sullivan reacts (WAV file)
Rob Daum reacts (WAV file)
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Houston Aeros left wing Patrick O’Sullivan has been named the winner of the Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award as the American Hockey League’s outstanding rookie for the 2005-06 season, as voted by AHL players and media in each of the league’s 27 member cities.. ---HOUSTON AEROS, BE A FAN---
O’Sullivan, 21 (2/1/85), leads all AHL rookies in goals (45) and points (87), and he’s third among all AHL players in goals and tied for fifth in points. His 45 goals have tied Jeff Christian’s 1998-99 team record. O’Sullivan has the third-most goals of any AHL rookie since 1990-91, and the fifth-most points of any first-year player since 1994-95.
O’Sullivan was the first ever player to earn back-to-back AHL Rookie of the Month honors, taking home the award in January and February. He scored a goal in the 2006 AHL All-Star Game on his 21st birthday.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound native of Winston-Salem, N.C., was Minnesota’s second-round pick (No. 56 overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
O’Sullivan played four junior seasons with OHL Mississauga, racking up 346 points (149-197=346) in 235 points. He was the OHL’s Rookie of the Year in 2001-02.
The Aeros play their final regular season home game Friday at 7:35 p.m. against Omaha. Houston is just two points behind first-place Milwaukee, with three games left, and a game in hand on the Admirals. Buy tickets.
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), 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), Donald Audette (1990), Felix Potvin (1992), Darcy Tucker (1996), Daniel Briere (1998), Mika Noronen (2000), Tyler Arnason (2002), Darren Haydar (2003), Wade Dubielewicz (2004) and Rene Bourque (2005).
In operation since 1936, the AHL is celebrating its historic 70th anniversary this season, and continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Over 80 percent of all NHL players today are AHL graduates, and more than 350 AHL players have been recalled to the NHL this season alone. Sixteen clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway next week.