2017–18 AHL season

The 2017–18 AHL season is the 82nd season of the American Hockey League. The regular season ran from October 6, 2017, to April 15, 2018.[1] The 2018 Calder Cup playoffs followed the conclusion of the regular season. The Toronto Marlies won their first Calder Cup in seven games over the Texas Stars.

2017–18 AHL season
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
SportIce hockey
Regular season
Macgregor Kilpatrick TrophyToronto Marlies
Season MVPPhil Varone (Lehigh Valley)
Top scorerChris Terry (Laval)
Playoffs
Eastern Conference championsToronto Marlies
  Eastern Conference runners-upLehigh Valley Phantoms
Western Conference championsTexas Stars
  Western Conference runners-upRockford IceHogs
Playoffs MVPAndreas Johnsson (Toronto)
Calder Cup
ChampionsToronto Marlies
  Runners-upTexas Stars

League changes

The AHL's only alignment change was moving the Charlotte Checkers from the Central Division of the Western Conference to the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, significantly decreasing their interdivisional travel and balancing the two conferences' members.[2] Similar to the season scheduling in the previous season, the six California and Arizona based teams continued to have a 68-game season while the rest of the AHL teams play a 76-game season.

Team and NHL affiliation changes

The National Hockey League added the Vegas Golden Knights for the 2017–18 season. The Las Vegas management confirmed that the organization would also have an AHL affiliate in their first season, although it was not stated whether the AHL team would be an expansion or relocation. The organization looked into adding an affiliate on the West Coast with the leading candidates being Salt Lake City, Reno, or Fresno.[3][4] However, as the season went on, they looked into co-affiliations with a pre-existing AHL team since the new NHL team would likely not have a large amount of drafted talent to fully stock an AHL roster.[5] In February 2017, AHL commissioner David Andrews later stated that there was a "50-50 chance" of a 31st team being established for the 2017–18 season.[6]

Other than the Golden Knights adding a team, there were also reports in November 2016 of the St. Louis Blues adding an expansion team in Kansas City.[7] This would later be denied by the announced potential owner in Kansas City, Lamar Hunt Jr., in a press release from his ECHL team in the area, the Missouri Mavericks,[8] and further denied by AHL commissioner, David Andrews, after the January 2017 Board of Governors meeting.[9] In May 2017, the 30 team alignment was confirmed and there would be no expansion for 2017–18. The Golden Knights signed a multi-year affiliation with the Chicago Wolves, replacing the Blues as their primary affiliate. The Blues also announced that they would continue to send players to the Wolves for that season, as well as to the San Antonio Rampage, the AHL team that they would affiliate with for 2018–19.

The league confirmed after the 2017 Board of Governors meeting that it had made a commitment to an expansion applicant for a 31st team for the 2018–19 season[1] later revealed to be the Colorado Eagles.[10][11] The Eagles had been a member of the ECHL prior to the promotion and the affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche. The Eagles join other recent ECHL markets in the AHL such as Bakersfield, Charlotte, Ontario, and Stockton.

Relocations

Affiliation changes

AHL team New affiliate Old affiliate
Chicago Wolves[16] Vegas Golden Knights St. Louis Blues[lower-alpha 1]
  1. Although the Blues would no longer be the Wolves' primary NHL affiliate, they would continue to send players to the Wolves as an unofficial affiliate.[17]

Standings

Final standings:[18]

 y–  indicates team has clinched division and a playoff spot
 x–  indicates team has clinched a playoff spot
 e–  indicates team has been eliminated from playoff contention

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division GP W L OTL SOL Pts Pts% GF GA
yLehigh Valley Phantoms (PHI)76471955104.684260218
xWilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (PIT)7645226399.651252223
xCharlotte Checkers (CAR)7646261396.632262212
xProvidence Bruins (BOS)7645263295.625231187
eBridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI)7636325380.526206214
eHartford Wolf Pack (NYR)7634336377.507208252
eSpringfield Thunderbirds (FLA)7632375271.467210233
eHershey Bears (WSH)7630374569.454201249
North Division GP W L OTL SOL Pts Pts% GF GA
yToronto Marlies (TOR)76541822112.737254170
xSyracuse Crunch (TBL)76462235100.658234189
xRochester Americans (BUF)76372211691.599234221
xUtica Comets (VAN)7638268488.579211216
eBinghamton Devils (NJD)7625389463.414193247
eBelleville Senators (OTT)7629422363.414194266
eLaval Rocket (MTL)7624427358.382206281

Western Conference

Central Division GP W L OTL SOL Pts Pts% GF GA
yChicago Wolves (VGK)7642237495.625244208
xGrand Rapids Griffins (DET)7642252793.612237210
xManitoba Moose (WPG)7642264492.605253198
xRockford IceHogs (CHI)7640284488.579239234
eIowa Wild (MIN)76332710682.539232246
eMilwaukee Admirals (NSH)7638324282.539216235
eCleveland Monsters (CBJ)7625417360.395190258
Pacific Division GP W L OTL SOL Pts Pts% GF GA
yTucson Roadrunners (ARI)6842205190.662214173
xTexas Stars (DAL)7638248690.592223231
xOntario Reign (LAK)6836254379.581200194
xSan Jose Barracuda (SJS)6834264476.559186198
eSan Diego Gulls (ANA)6836283176.559202197
eStockton Heat (CGY)6834282474.544211204
eBakersfield Condors (EDM)6831279172.529188206
eSan Antonio Rampage (COL)76353110080.526198219

Statistical leaders

Leading skaters

The following players are sorted by points, then goals. Updated as of April 15, 2018.[19]

GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/– = Plus-minus; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Chris Terry Laval Rocket 6232397145
Phil Varone Lehigh Valley Phantoms 7423477036
Austin Czarnik Providence Bruins 6425446924
Mason Appleton Manitoba Moose 7622446657
Daniel Sprong Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 6532336528
Teemu Pulkkinen Chicago Wolves 7529366544
Ben Street Grand Rapids Griffins 7321446522
Eric Tangradi Grand Rapids Griffins 7431336451
Cal O'Reilly Iowa Wild 7515496410
Curtis Valk Springfield Thunderbirds 7320426241

Leading goaltenders

The following goaltenders with a minimum 1440 minutes played lead the league in goals against average. Updated as of April 15, 2018.[20]

GP = Games played; TOI = Time on ice (in minutes); SA = Shots against; GA = Goals against; SO = Shutouts; GAA = Goals against average; SV% = Save percentage; W = Wins; L = Losses; OT = Overtime/shootout loss

Player Team GPTOISAGASOGAASV%WLOT
Garret SparksToronto Marlies 432507:0411817561.79.9363192
Jordan BinningtonProvidence Bruins 281605:537445512.05.9261791
Michael HutchinsonManitoba Moose 261560:328315422.08.9351754
Edward PasqualeBakersfield/Syracuse 311782:188426522.19.9231667
Adin HillTucson Roadrunners 361949:578637452.28.91419114

Calder Cup playoffs

Playoff format

The 2018 Calder Cup playoffs format was retained from the divisional format of the 2017 Calder Cup playoffs. The playoff format was finalized at the Annual Board of Governors meeting that took place July 2017. During the regular season, teams receive two points for a win and one point for an overtime or shootout loss. The top four teams in each division ranked by points percentage (points earned divided by points available) qualify for the 2017 Calder Cup playoffs.

The 2018 Calder Cup playoffs features a divisional playoff format, leading to conference finals and ultimately the Calder Cup finals. The division semifinals are best-of-five series; all subsequent rounds are best-of-seven.[1]

Bracket

  Division semifinals Division finals Conference finals Calder Cup final
                                     
A1 Lehigh Valley 3  
A4 Providence 1  
  A1 Lehigh Valley 4  
 
  A3 Charlotte 1  
A2 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 0
A3 Charlotte 3  
  A1 Lehigh Valley 0  
Eastern Conference
  N1 Toronto 4  
N1 Toronto 3  
N4 Utica 2  
  N1 Toronto 4
 
  N2 Syracuse 0  
N2 Syracuse 3
N3 Rochester 0  
  N1 Toronto 4
  P2 Texas 3
C1 Chicago 0  
C4 Rockford 3  
  C4 Rockford 4
 
  C3 Manitoba 0  
C2 Grand Rapids 2
C3 Manitoba 3  
  C4 Rockford 2
Western Conference
  P2 Texas 4  
P1 Tucson 3  
P4 San Jose 1  
  P1 Tucson 1
 
  P2 Texas 4  
P2 Texas 3
P3 Ontario 1  

AHL awards

AwardWinner
Calder Cup :Toronto Marlies
Les Cunningham Award :Phil Varone, Lehigh Valley
John B. Sollenberger Trophy :Chris Terry, Laval
Willie Marshall Award :Valentin Zykov, Charlotte
Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award :Mason Appleton, Manitoba
Eddie Shore Award :Sami Niku, Manitoba
Aldege "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award :Garret Sparks, Toronto
Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award :Garret Sparks and Calvin Pickard, Toronto
Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award :Pascal Vincent, Manitoba
Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award :Bracken Kearns, Binghamton
Yanick Dupre Memorial Award :Scooter Vaughan, Chicago
Jack A. Butterfield Trophy :Andreas Johnsson, Toronto
Richard F. Canning Trophy :Toronto Marlies
Robert W. Clarke Trophy :Texas Stars
Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy:
(regular season champions)
Toronto Marlies
Frank Mathers Trophy:
(Eastern Conference regular season champions)
Toronto Marlies
Norman R. "Bud" Poile Trophy:
(Western Conference regular season champions)
Tucson Roadrunners
Emile Francis Trophy :
(Atlantic Division regular season champions)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms
F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy:
(North Division regular season champions)
Toronto Marlies
Sam Pollock Trophy:
(Central Division regular season champions)
Chicago Wolves
John D. Chick Trophy:
(Pacific Division regular season champions)
Tucson Roadrunners
James C. Hendy Memorial Award:Tim Gortsema, Grand Rapids
Thomas Ebright Memorial Award:Wendell Young, Chicago
James H. Ellery Memorial Awards:Ben Birnell, Utica
Ken McKenzie Award:Pam Frasco, Cleveland
Michael Condon Memorial Award:Frank Murphy
President's Awards:Organization: Toronto
Player: Mike McKenna

All-Star Teams

First All-Star Team[21]

Second All-Star Team[21]

All-Rookie Team[22]

See also

References

  1. "AHL BOARD OF GOVERNORS ANNUAL MEETING CONCLUDES". AHL. July 6, 2017.
  2. "2017-18 AHL ALIGNMENT ANNOUNCED". AHL. May 11, 2017.
  3. "Las Vegas Will Have AHL Affiliate By Christmas, Share ECHL Team". Sin Bin. August 24, 2016.
  4. "Bill Foley considers options for minor league affiliates for his NHL team". Las Vegas Review-Journal. June 23, 2016.
  5. "Bill Foley seeks minor-league affiliate for Las Vegas NHL team". Las Vegas Review-Journal. September 26, 2016.
  6. "American Hockey League president talks scheduling, expansion, All-Stars, etc". The Press-Enterprise. February 11, 2017.
  7. "Report: Blues AHL affiliation to move to Kansas City". KMOV. November 30, 2016.
  8. "Missouri Mavericks Deny Reports on AHL and Kansas City". Arena Digest. December 2, 2016.
  9. "Blue Notes: Reaves moving to third line, at least to start". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. January 30, 2017.
  10. "Colorado Eagles moving to AHL to become top Avalanche affiliate". Fort Collins Coloradoan. October 10, 2017.
  11. "AHL AWARDS EXPANSION MEMBERSHIP TO COLORADO EAGLES". American Hockey League. October 10, 2017.
  12. "Sens Owner Purchases AHL Team Partners W/ Belleville". Ottawa Senators. September 26, 2016.
  13. "Canadiens moving AHL affiliate to Laval in 17-18". AHL. 11 July 2016.
  14. "New Laval AHL team will be known as the Rocket". CJAD. September 8, 2016.
  15. "IceCaps Seek New Hockey Partner". OurSports Central. 11 July 2016.
  16. "WOLVES, GOLDEN KNIGHTS ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP". AHL. May 16, 2017.
  17. "Armstrong statement on AHL affiliation". St. Louis Blues. May 16, 2017.
  18. "AHL Standings". AHL. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  19. "Player Stats TheAHL.com". AHL.
  20. "Top Goalies - 2017-18 Regular Season - Goals Against Average". AHL.
  21. "2017-18 American Hockey League First and Second All-Star Teams Named". AHL. April 5, 2018.
  22. "2017-18 AHL All-Rookie Team Named". AHL. April 5, 2018.
Preceded by
2016–17
AHL seasons Succeeded by
2018–19
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