Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Zach Boychuk named AHL Player of the Month

Per AHL release...

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The American Hockey League announced today that Charlotte Checkers left wing Zach Boychuk has been selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for March.

Boychuk tallied nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points in 16 games during a busy month that saw the Checkers climb from 14th place (nine points out of a playoff spot) to eighth place (four points up) in the Western Conference standings.

Boychuk notched at least one point in 12 of his 16 games played in March, and the Checkers went 12-0-0-0 in those contests. He recorded his third hat trick of the season on Mar. 2, scoring three times in the third period of a 6-3 win at Hershey, and assisted on the game-winning goal in the final minute of Charlotte’s 3-2 win at Norfolk on Mar. 4. Boychuk assisted on two game-tying goals in regulation to help the Checkers to a 5-4 shootout win at San Antonio on Mar. 7, and combined for seven points in a two-game visit to Iowa, including a career-best five-point effort in a 7-0 win on Mar. 26. Boychuk closed out the month by helping Charlotte to a pair of crucial victories over Oklahoma City, with an assist in a 3-2 shootout win on Mar. 29 and a goal and an assist in a 5-4 shootout win on Mar. 30.

Boychuk now ranks third in the AHL in scoring with 67 points in 62 games for Charlotte this season, and is tied for the league lead with 32 goals. A first-round draft choice (14th overall) by Carolina in 2008, Boychuk has also appeared in nine NHL games with the Hurricanes in 2013-14, registering one goal and three assists. A 24-year-old native of Airdrie, Alta., Boychuk has totaled 113 goals and 143 assists for 256 points in 289 career AHL games with Charlotte and the Albany River Rats, while also notching nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points in 94 career NHL contests with Carolina, Nashville and Pittsburgh.


Here's an excerpt from Sunday's gamer story, where Boychuk recorded a goal and an assist to set a new single-season scoring record for the Checkers with 67 points. 

With a goal and an assist in the Checkers 5-4 shootout win over the Oklahoma City Barons in front of 8,011 on Sunday afternoon, Charlotte forward Zach Boychuk set a new franchise-record for points in a single season with 67 (32g, 35a). 
The win was the 12 of this month for the Checkers, who improved to 18-17-1 at Time Warner Cable Arena this season. 
“He’s just consistent,” said Checkers coach Jeff Daniels of Boychuk, whose 32 goals leads the AHL. “Game in and game out he’s providing offense for us and working hard away from the puck. Even the nights where he may be a bit off, he’ll still get an assist like he did (Saturday) night. He’s a guy, who when he gets the puck around the net, can finish, or make a play.” 

Boychuk’s 22 points (9g, 13a) this month are the most in team history in terms of total points. He and Chris Terry, who was recalled to Carolina earlier Tuesday, are the only Checkers to ever post 20 points in a given month (Terry finished this month with 20 points (10g, 10a). 

Boychuk joined John Muse (the AHL Player of the Week) as the second Checkers player to be recognized by the AHL in the past two days.