California Rubber

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Jr. Kings grad, Gilroy native Wolf named AHL’s MVP, top goaltender for ’22-23 season


The AHL has announced that Dustin Wolf of the Calgary Wranglers is the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the league’s MVP and also the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender for the 2022-23 season.

The awards are voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 32 cities.

The 22-year-old Wolf becomes the first goaltender to win the Bastien Award in back-to-back seasons since its creation in 1984.

He is also just the eighth different goaltender in league history to win MVP honors, 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 the Bastien Award, 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.

Also named a First Team AHL All-Star for the second year in a row, 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. The Gilroy was a seventh-round choice by the Calgary Flames in the 2019 NHL Draft and made his NHL debut with the Flames on Apr. 12, stopping 23 shots in a 3-1 win over San Jose.

This marks the fourth consecutive year in which Wolf has won his league’s top goaltender award. He earned the Del Wilson Trophy playing for the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League in both 2019-20 and 2020-21.

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.

The Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award, which was first presented in 1984, honors former Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Baz Bastien, who played four seasons in goal with the AHL’s Pittsburgh Hornets (1945-49) before suffering a career-ending eye injury. Bastien would go on to serve as head coach and general manager of the Hornets, leading them to the 1967 Calder Cup championship.

During his youth hockey career, Wolf played for the Los Angeles Jr. Kings.

Photo/Phillip Brents

(April 24, 2023)

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