The Crunch has not had a player honored as the AHL's Rookie of the Month since March of 2012, when Anaheim prospect Peter Holland was selected. In March of 2011, Kyle Palmieri, also in the Anaheim system, earned the honor while playing for Syracuse. Before that, then-Columbus prospect Derick Brassard earned the honor in April of 2008.
The following is from the Syracuse Crunch’s official press release:
Syracuse, NY – Syracuse Crunch forward Nikita Kucherov has been selected by the American Hockey League as the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for October.
Kucherov ranks second in the AHL for scoring, beginning his professional career with 15 points (8g, 7a) in eight games. Kucherov’s first four career points came when he registered a hat trick in the Crunch’s home opener, a 5-1 win against Rochester on Oct. 12. He had a goal and an assist in each game of a home-and-home series with Binghamton Oct. 18-19 and scored the team’s only regulation goal in a 2-1 shootout win at Utica on Oct. 25. Kucherov concluded the month with another four point effort, recording two goals and two assists in a 4-1 victory over the Albany Devils on Oct. 30.
A second-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2011, Kucherov played junior hockey last season in the QMJHL, totaling 29 goals and 34 assists for 63 points in just 33 games between Quebec and Rouyn-Noranda. The native of Maykop, Russia, represented his country in the World Junior Championships, winning a silver medal in 2012 and bronze in 2013.
In recognition of his achievement, Kucherov will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Crunch home game.