Luke Adam is vaulting towards some lofty heights.
If this sounds like a familiar story, well, it should.
After Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis won back to back Rookie of the Year awards in the AHL, Portland looks like it could capture the trophy for the third straight year, with the stellar play of center prospect Luke Adam.
As recently as March 8th, Zac Dalpe, a prospect of the Carolina Hurricanes, lead all AHL rookies with 18 goals and 43 points in 46 games. He had tacked on 17 PIM’s to go with those stats. Meanwhile, Adam had compiled 21 goals for 42 points in just 40 games, with 32 PIM’s to go with those numbers. It was looking like it would be a close call – Adam’s Pirates had 18 games remaining, while Dalpe’s Checkers have 14 to go. Barring injury and call-ups, this one was going to the wire.
Now, only 13 days and 6 Portland games later, Adam has left Dalpe far behind, and seems untouchable on the stat sheet in the home stretch for AHL Rookie of the Year honors.
Adam now has 25 goals and 28 assists for 53 points in just 46 games played, leading Rhett Rakhshani of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (the NY Islander's AHL affiliate) who has 17 goals and 34 assists for 51 points in 58 games played. Dalpe has dropped back to third, with 19 goals, 27 assists, and 46 points in 52 games played. Not only is Adam far and away statistically from his first-year peers, he has also played well enough to be ranked 21st overall in AHL scoring. Remember, he has put up these numbers in only 46 games - roughly half of the AHL season.
So, when is the last time an AHL team boasted the Rookie of the Year for 3 straight seasons?
It has been done in 2 consecutive years twice – by the Nova Scotia Voyageurs in 1976-1978 (Rod Schutt and Norm Dupont), and of course by Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis in 2008-2010.
For the Sabres, it shows how powerful and talented the new core of young players is. Adding Adam's likely ROY honors to the same achievement by Gerbe and Ennis is one thing, but also consider Tyler Myers' winning of the NHL Rookie of the Year award last season, and Ennis' consideration for that same NHL award this season. Right now, the 2008 draft is looking at one that could become the best selection process by any Sabres GM in the history of the team. Darcy Reiger selected Myers, Ennis, and Adam 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in that year.
Who said Regier can’t draft?
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