By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter @andrewlindrothh
Every year the Providence Bruins (AHL) hosts their awards for their players who exemplified excellence and leadership throughout the season. If you followed Providence in any way this season, then you’ll recognize a few of these names and might have predicted who would win a particular award. Some players won more than one award and blew away people’s expectations. There is a good chance some of the players you see here today might crack the Bruins roster for the 2020-2021 campaign. Here are the winners of Providences’ awards!
Rookie of the Year Award – Jack Studnicka
The ‘Rookie of the Year’ Award presented by Cross Insurance goes to the one obvious choice, Jack Studnicka. Since graduating from juniors and getting the promotion to Providence, the 21-year-old forward has showcased his talents at the AHL level and even at the NHL level when called upon for two games where he also collected his first career NHL point.
Studnicka not only produced offensively 5-on-5 and on the power-play but was an absolute brute on the penalty-kill unit and led the AHL in shorthanded goals this season (seven). He also led Providence in goals, assists and points this season. He took the professional hockey world by storm this year, and I believe if anybody deserves a chance in the Boston Bruins lineup this upcoming season, it is Studnicka. Congratulations, Studnicka!
The winner of the Cross Insurance Rookie of the Year Award, given to the outstanding rookie of the 2019-20 season, is #23 Jack Studnicka. Studnicka posted an impressive season, leading the team in goals, assists and points, and setting a new team record with 7 short-handed goals. pic.twitter.com/lwhkxotu8Y— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) June 22, 2020
Fan Favorite Award – Dan Vladar
The ‘Fan Favorite’ Award presented by Electrical Wholesalers goes to goaltender Dan Vladar. He has been apart of the organization since being drafted by the Bruins in the 3rd round of the 2015 NHL Draft. He has split his time between the Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL) and Providence since his career in the organization but had his most stellar campaign in 2019-2020.
The 6’0, 185-pound goalie led the AHL in goals-against average (GAA) with 1.79 and in save percentage with a whopping .939%. Vladar also set a career-high 14 wins at the AHL level while collecting three shutouts. He has seemed to find his game this past season. With Jaroslav Halak and Tuukka Rask holding down the goalie tandem for 2020-2021, Vladar will be looking to spend another year in Providence, given he re-signs his soon-to-be expired contract after the NHL season. Congratulations, Vladar!
The winner of the Electrical Wholesalers ‘Fan Favorite’ Award, as voted by P-Bruins fans for the 2019-20 season, is #30 Dan Vladar. Vladar was part of a solid tandem for the P-Bruins, posting an impressive 1.79 GAA and a 0.936 save %, with 3 shutouts on the season. pic.twitter.com/ezHnKq33GE— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) June 22, 2020
Three Stars Award – Brendan Gaunce
The ‘Three Stars’ Award presented by AAA Insurance is an award for the player with the most ‘Three Stars’ nominations this season, and it goes to Brendan Gaunce. He led the team in first star, second star, and overall nominations this season. The 6’2, 207-pound forward was a spark plug for his team all season long and placed third in points with Providence (18-19-37 numbers). Gaunce has been very reliable for Providence, and when he was called up to the Bruins for a game and was able to produce a point.
Gaunces’ contract expires at the end of the NHL season and will be a restricted free-agent (FA). I believe another one-year deal will get done, and they will be able to rely on Gaunce to help with the development of their younger prospects and serve as a depth piece for the Bruins. Congratulations, Gaunce!
The 1st of 4 more Team Awards today: The winner of the AAA Insurance ‘Three Stars’ Award, given to the player with the most ‘three stars’ nominations this season, is #16 Brendan Gaunce. Gaunce led the team in first star, second star and overall nominations this season. pic.twitter.com/x9hYHMkrxj— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) June 22, 2020
Leading Scorer Award – Jack Studnicka
The ‘Leading Scorer’ Award presented by National Grid is awarded to Jack Studnicka. As mentioned above, Studnicka led Providence in goals (23), assists (26), and points (49) this season. Averaging 0.81 Pt/G with three power-play goals and seven shorthanded goals, there is no doubt Studnicka will be the offensive spark the Bruins have been looking for within their young pool of prospects.
If Studnicka doesn’t crack the Bruins lineup the next campaign, then expect for him to be putting up even more points than this past year with Providence. At this rate, he will be a point-per-game player at the AHL level and can produce 40-50 points within his rookie year in the NHL, in my opinion. The opportunities and possibilities are endless for this rising star. Congratulations, Studnicka!
The winner of the National Grid ‘Leading Scorer’ Award, given to the team’s leading scorer for the 2019-20 season, is #23 Jack Studnicka. The rookie forward led the team with 49 points, while also leading the team in goals, assists, and shots. pic.twitter.com/fcz1F451Po— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) June 22, 2020
Plus/Minus Award – Josiah Didier
The ‘Plus/Minus’ Award presented by RI Medical Imaging goes to the player who led the team in plus/minus, Josiah Didier. New defensive addition, Didier, has done a tremendous job of holding down the blue-line for Providence this season and has earned this reward for finishing with an impressive +32 rating. The 6’3, 207-pound defender has been consistent throughout his first campaign with Providence and is a solid depth piece for the Bruins blue-line.
Didier also re-signed with Providence on a two-year deal before the season ended and will be looking to repeat that same success in the next two seasons. Players like Didier exemplifies leadership in the locker room, and that presence alone can help take Providence to the next level, especially during the playoffs. Congratulations on your hard work, Didier!
Team Awards Week continues with the @rimirad ‘Plus/Minus’ Award, given to the team leader in plus/minus each season. #44 Josiah Didier is the 2019-20 season winner, as he led the team with a +32 rating. pic.twitter.com/YlWc65mGJ3— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) June 16, 2020
Hendricks Memorial Fan Appreciation Award – Paul Carey
The Hendricks Memorial ‘Fan Appreciation’ Award goes to the player who shows exemplary leadership & on-ice performance, and this award goes to Providence captain, Paul Carey. There is no doubt, returning captain Carey deserves this award. He plays a significant role in molding and teaching the younger prospects in the organization and remains productive as a forward as well, finishing second on the team with points.
The 6’1, 196-pound forward appeared in 60 games this season while racking up 22 goals and 39 points with a +9 rating. Carey also played in 30 games with Providence in 2018-2019 and produced 33 points during that time. Carey serves as a leadership role for the young prospects as well as an offensive plug for Providence. The 31-year-old has one more year left on his contract and will most likely serve that time with Providence unless he is called upon by the Bruins. Congratulations, Carey!
2019-20 Team Awards week begins with the Hendricks Memorial Fan Appreciation Award, given each season to a player for exemplary leadership & on-ice performance. This season’s winner is #28 Paul Carey, who was 2nd on the team in points & team captain for the division winners. pic.twitter.com/K3UrgrQqi2— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) June 15, 2020
Best Defenseman Award- Josiah Didier
The ‘Best Defenseman’ Award presented by Dunkin’ Donuts goes to Didier, who collects his second award. Along with being team-best in plus/minus, he also led the AHL in that same category. Didier played in 61 games this season and contributed 3-12-15 numbers with 79 PIM.
Didier will be a crucial piece to Providence, especially during the playoffs next season because of his experience after winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers in 2018-2019. He collected four assists in 19 playoff games during that championship year. With his defensive skills, leadership, and physicality, he will be able to help Providence to their first Calder Cup Championship since 1999. Congratulations, Didier!
Today’s @AHLBruins Team Award: The winner of the @dunkindonuts ‘Best Defenseman’ Award, given to the outstanding defenseman each season, is #44 Josiah Didier. Didier’s solid defense and leadership helped the P-Bruins allow the fewest goals in the conference. pic.twitter.com/ZsZCu6OdR0— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) June 17, 2020
Team MVP Award – Jack Studnicka
The ‘Team MVP Award’ presented by Metlife is awarded to Jack Studnicka. The 21-year-old forward walks away with three team awards from the 2019-2020 campaign and rightfully so. In his first year in the AHL, he led his team in goals (23), assists (26) and points (49), while leading the entire league with shorthanded goals (7) and setting a new team record in that category.
If Studnicka remains healthy and performs well at camp this year, I expect him to be slotted into the Boston Bruins lineup almost immediately. I don’t think his rookie year was a fluke, and his hard-work ethic is going to reward him soon. There is no question Studnicka deserves this award. Congratulations, Studnicka!
The winner of the MetLife ‘Team MVP Award’, given to the most valuable player as voted by the team, is #23 Jack Studnicka. Studnicka led the team in goals (23), assists (36) and points (49) in his rookie campaign, and set a new team record for short handed goals in a season (7). pic.twitter.com/hCELJusx1Y— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) June 18, 2020