The American Hockey League announced on Tuesday that two former Capitals will be inducted to the AHL Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2022.
Longtime Hershey Bear Keith Aucoin headlines the group, which also includes Capitals’ 1994 first-round draft pick, Nolan Baumgartner. The other two enshrinees are Dave Creighton and Bill Torrey.
“For more than eight decades, the American Hockey League has been built on principles of excellence both on and off the ice,” Scott Howson, AHL President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a release. “Each of these four distinguished individuals exemplified those principles at the highest levels throughout their careers, and the AHL Board of Governors unanimously endorses the Selection Committee’s recommendation for their induction into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame as the Class of 2022.”
🏅🏆HE'S A HALL OF FAMER!🏆🏅
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) October 26, 2021
Aucoin is one of the greatest players in AHL history and ended his career with 857 points in 769 games – seventh-most all time. Aucoin helped lead the Bears to back-to-back Calder Cups in 2009 and 2010, centering a dominant first line with Alexandre Giroux and Graham Mink/Andrew Gordon. Aucoin’s biggest season was in 2009-10 where he recorded 106 points in 70 games, earning MVP honors at the end of the season.
The AHL summarized his career like this:
CLASS OF 2022: KEITH AUCOIN
One of the most decorated players ever to skate in the American Hockey League, Keith Aucoin was undrafted out of NCAA Division III Norwich University in Vermont, and broke into the AHL with his hometown Lowell Lock Monsters in 2001-02. He went on to record 857 points in 769 games over parts of 13 AHL seasons with Lowell, the Providence Bruins, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, Albany River Rats, Hershey Bears, Toronto Marlies and Chicago Wolves, retiring as the seventh-leading scorer in league history. Aucoin won the Calder Cup with Hershey in 2009 and 2010 and was the AHL’s MVP and scoring champion for the 2009-10 season after tallying 106 points in 70 games. He played in a record-tying six AHL All-Star Classics, and was voted a First Team (2009, 2010, 2012) and Second Team (2006, 2007, 2011) AHL All-Star three times each.
Aucoin also scored 49 points in 145 career games at the NHL level with the Capitals, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders, and St. Louis Blues. Aucoin, a frequent call-up to the NHL, tallied over 10-points in three different seasons despite not being a full-time player.
Meanwhile, Nolan Baumgartner, a highly-touted defense prospect, played 16 years in the AHL, including four with the Capitals’ former affiliate, the Portland Pirates. Baumgartner posted 390 points in 878 games with the Pirates, Norfolk Admirals, Manitoba Moose, Philadelphia Phantoms, Iowa Stars, and Chicago Wolves.
Via the AHL:
CLASS OF 2022: NOLAN BAUMGARTNER
Nolan Baumgartner spent the majority of his 16-year professional playing career in the AHL, appearing in 878 games and notching 83 goals and 307 assists for 390 points with the Portland Pirates, Norfolk Admirals, Manitoba Moose, Philadelphia Phantoms, Iowa Stars and Chicago Wolves. A standout two-way defenseman and well-respected leader, Baumgartner appeared in three AHL All-Star Classics and was selected an All-Star playing captain at the 2010 event. Baumgartner also accrued 29 points in 86 postseason games, which included an appearance in the Calder Cup Finals with Manitoba in 2009. The Calgary native, a first-round draft pick by Washington in 1994, served as an assistant coach for Vancouver’s AHL affiliates in Chicago and Utica for five seasons before being promoted to the Canucks in 2017.
Baumgartner also got significant time in the NHL, playing parts of four seasons with the Capitals from 1995 through 2000. After retiring, he went into coaching and has served as an assistant coach for the Vancouver Canucks for the last five seasons.
AHL Hall of Fame announces Class of 2022
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today announced the four people selected for induction into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame as the Class of 2022.
Honored by the AHL Hall of Fame Selection Committee as the 17th group of enshrinees are Keith Aucoin, Nolan Baumgartner, Dave Creighton and Bill Torrey.
In addition to the Class of 2022, this season’s induction ceremony will include long-time AHL President and CEO David Andrews, who was previously selected as the lone member of the Class of 2021. The American Hockey League Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony is scheduled for February 7 in Laval, Que., as part of the festivities at the 2022 AHL All-Star Classic.
Formed in 2006 to recognize, honor and celebrate individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions in the American Hockey League, the AHL Hall of Fame is housed online at ahlhalloffame.com and is accessible to fans worldwide with the click of a mouse as part of the AHL Internet Network.
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives, broadcasters and staff of all 32 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of NHL players each year are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.
Headline photo: Kyle Mace/RMNB
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