SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that goaltender Dustin Wolf of the Calgary Wranglers has been voted the winner of the Les Cunningham Awardas the AHL’s most valuable player for the 2022-23 season.
The award was voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 32 cities.
Wolf becomes just the eighth different goaltender in league history to win MVP honors, following Johnny Bower (1956-57-58), Denis DeJordy (1963), Gilles Villemure (1969-70), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), J.F. Labbe (1997), Martin Brochu (2000) and Jason LaBarbera (2004). And at 22, Wolf is the youngest AHL MVP since Jason Spezza in 2004-05.
Wolf followed his outstanding rookie season with another remarkable campaign in 2022-23, leading the AHL in every major statistical category including wins (with a record of 42-10-2), save percentage (.932), goals-against average (2.09) and shutouts (seven). Wolf also played more minutes (3,238), faced more shots (1,653) and made more saves (1,540) than any other goaltender in the league, backstopping the Wranglers to the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL’s regular-season champions. In addition to winning the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender for the second year in a row, Wolf captured the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award, given to the goaltender(s) on the team that allows the fewest goals in the regular season.
A native of Gilroy, Calif., Wolf has compiled a record of 77-20-6 with a 2.24 GAA, a .927 save percentage and seven shutouts in 105 AHL appearances. He was a seventh-round choice by the Calgary Flames in the 2019 NHL Draft and made his NHL debut on Apr. 12, stopping 23 shots in a 3-1 Flames win over San Jose.
The AHL’s most valuable player award honors the late Les Cunningham, a member of the AHL Hall of Fame who was a five-time league All-Star and three-time Calder Cup champion with the Cleveland Barons. Previous winners of the award include Carl Liscombe (1948, ’49), Johnny Bower (1956, ’57, ’58), Fred Glover (1960, ’62, ’64), Art Stratton (1965, ’74), Dick Gamble (1966), Mike Nykoluk (1967), Dave Creighton (1968), Gilles Villemure (1969, ’70), Doug Gibson (1975, ’77), Pelle Lindbergh (1981), Paul Gardner (1985, ’86), Tim Tookey (1987), Jody Gage (1988), John Anderson (1992), Don Biggs (1993), Brad Smyth (1996), Derek Armstrong (2001), Jason Spezza (2005), Keith Aucoin (2010), Tyler Johnson (2013), Travis Morin (2014), Chris Bourque (2016), Daniel Carr (2019), Gerry Mayhew (2020) and T.J. Tynan (2021, ’22).
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 32 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.