The Ontario Reign announced today that goaltender Peter Budaj has been named winner of the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender for the 2015-16 season.
The award is voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.
Selected to the 2015-16 AHL All-Star First Team last week, Budaj, 33, is the second goaltender in the last 50 years to win 40 games in a single AHL season and currently holds a record of 41-14-4 entering the last week of the regular season.
The Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, native leads the AHL in wins, goals-against average (1.74), save percentage (.932), shutouts and minutes played (3,514) this season and started in 59 of the Reign’s 66 games.
A 14-year pro, Budaj has made 297 NHL appearances in his career and has a record of 125-107-36, including a victory with the Kings this season, earning a 5-4 overtime decision over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on February 12. A two-time Olympian (2006, 2014), Budaj was originally a second-round draft pick by Colorado in 2001 and played three seasons with the Hershey Bears before reaching the NHL.
The Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award, which was first presented in 1984, honors former Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Baz Bastien, who played four seasons in goal with the AHL’s Pittsburgh Hornets (1945-49) before suffering a career-ending eye injury. Bastien would go on to serve as head coach and general manager of the Hornets, leading them to the 1967 Calder Cup championship. Previous winners of the award include Jon Casey (1985), Sam St. Laurent (1986), Mark Laforest (1987, 1991), Felix Potvin (1992), Corey Hirsch (1993), Manny Legace (1996), Martin Biron (1999), Dwayne Roloson (2001), Jason LaBarbera (2004, 2007), Ryan Miller (2005), Michael Leighton (2008), Cory Schneider (2009), Jonathan Bernier (2010), Jake Allen (2014) and Matt Murray (2015).