DES MOINES, IOWA – The Iowa Wild were destined for their best season as a franchise, with 82 points and a record of 37-18-4-4 at the time the season was stopped due to the Coronavirus. Three members of the Iowa Wild were named AHL first-team All-AHL for the 2019-20 season. That included winger Sam Anas, goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen, and defenseman Brennan Menell. Forward Gerald Mayhew was named to the AHL’s Second Team All-Star team. It was the first time in Iowa Wild history the team had a player receive either first or second-team honors.
Sam Anas was having the best season of his professional career before the season was shortened by COVID-19. In his fourth year, the Wild forward led the AHL in points (70), setting a franchise record. He also set another franchise record, recording 19 multi-point contests in only 63 games. He led the league with 42 power-play points and became the franchise’s all-time leader in points (267) and assists (175) during this past season. Anas was selected to participate in the AHL All-Star game.
Brennan Menell was one of the most dominant defensemen in the AHL, which led to his NHL debut on December 10. He led AHL defensemen in assists with 42 and was second among blueliners with 47 points. Menell was also chosen to participate in the All-Star game. The defenseman was second in power-play assists, trailing only Anas.
Kaapo Kahkonen dominated the AHL between the pipes, especially after the calendar turned to 2020. He led the AHL in wins with 25 and shutouts with seven. The Wild goaltender was fourth in goals against average at 2.07 and fourth in save percentage at .927.
While the numbers were impressive, it was his run that began on January 3 that reached legendary status. The Wild netminder went 13-3-2, including winning seven straight decisions. In 18 starts in 2020, he allowed two goals or fewer in 15 of those starts, including pitching five shutouts. That helped to earn him honors as the top goaltender in February when he went 8-1-0.
Gerald Mayhew was chosen to the second All-Star team, which was not a slight on him at all. Mayhew likely did not join his teammates on the first team because he spent 13 games total at the NHL level.
Despite missing time with Iowa, Mayhew was ridiculously good. He led the AHL in goals, scoring 39 in only 49 contests, good for a team record. He finished tied for third in the league in points with 61 and was tied for second in power-play goals (13) with teammate Luke Johnson. He also netted two short-handed goals, giving him the most special teams goals in the AHL this season. The Wild forward led the AHL in game-winning goals with 10 and was chosen to participate in the All-Star game.
Mayhew explained why the group had so much success this past season.
“Kappo, Me, Sammy and Menell have been together for a while now and we are very comfortable around each other. There’s nothing new to us, so I think that had a big part in why we did so well.”
Players were selected by a vote of their peers, coaches, and media throughout the league. Each person selected was awarded a custom-designed crystal award.
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