For the third straight year, a member of the Portland Pirates was named AHL’s top rookie as forward Luke Adam was awarded the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award for the AHL’s outstanding rookie player.
Adam is following in the path of fellow Buffalo Sabres’ draft picks Tyler Ennis and Nathan Gerbe, winners of the rookie of the year honors and now playing with the Sabres, producing on a regular basis.
“You look at Nathan two years ago and Tyler last year. Both are in the NHL and being real effective players for Buffalo,” said Adam. “I think Buffalo is one of the better drafting teams in the league. In my first game against Manchester I got a couple points. The talk started then and I was reminded of (the rookie of the year) often. It’s pretty neat to be the third one in a row for the Pirates.”
Adam stats were impressive this season considering the limited number of games played in the Pirates uniform. Playing in only 54 games this season, he’s scored 28 goals, 32 assists for 60 points with a plus-22 rating. Adam is ranked first in the AHL among rookies in goals, and is ranked third in assists.
Adam, who opened the season with a four point night to earn the AHL Player of the Week in the first week, had 16 multi-point games this season as well as two point-scoring streaks of nine and six games.
Still, the St. John’s, NL native, drafted in the second round (#44 overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry draft, is humble as ever, spreading the praise of his success to his teammates, despite his achievements on the ice.
“To even be named the All-Rookie team was a great honor,” Adam said. “It says a lot about my teammates this year and I’ve played with a lot of guys. It is an individual award, but at the same time a lot of credit has to go to my teammates. They really help me out with my offensive production.”
The reason for Adam’s limited time in Portland was because he was recalled to Buffalo on four separate occasions, where he played 19 games, scoring three goals, one assist for four points. His first NHL goal came on Dec. 7, 2010 in Boston.
“It was really nice to get those games in Buffalo and get some confidence up there,” said Adam. “When I look back this weekend and reflect for a quick second before we get into playoff mode and just see how the season went. I really came into (the season) without a whole lot of expectations. If I played one NHL game (this season) I would have been happy.”
Adam becomes the fourth member of the Portland Pirates to win the Dudley (Red) Garrett Award as Jaroslav Svejkovsky, a Washington Capitals first round draft pick (#17 overall) in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, was the first to win the award for the Pirates during the 1996-‘97 season.
The Pirates become the third team in AHL history to have a recipient win the award in three straight seasons, joining Providence Reds (1974, ’75 and ‘76), and Nova Scotia Voyageurs (1976, ’77 and ‘78). During the 1975-’76 season, Nova Scotia’s Pierre Mondu and Providence’s Greg Holst were co-winners of the award.