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Thunderbirds forward Dryden Hunt selected AHL Player of Week

Dryden Hunt, a graduate of Nelson Minor Hockey, recorded five points during Springfield's two-game weekend visit to Charlotte. — Photo courtesy Florida Panthers

The American Hockey League announced in a media release Monday that Springfield Thunderbirds forward Dryden Hunt has been selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending February 16, 2020.

Hunt, a graduate of Nelson Minor Hockey, recorded five points during Springfield's two-game weekend visit to Charlotte, helping the Thunderbirds close the gap in the Atlantic Division playoff race with a pair of key victories.

Saturday evening, Hunt scored once in regulation and then assisted on the game-winning goal as Springfield defeated Charlotte in overtime, 4-3. Then on Sunday afternoon, Hunt scored twice in the third period as part of a three-point effort as the Thunderbirds earned another 4-3 victory over the Checkers.

Hunt has totaled 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points in 35 games for Springfield this season, while adding four assists in 20 NHL contests with Florida.

The 24-year-old native of Cranbrook, B.C., has registered 150 points (72 goals, 78 assists) in 214 career AHL games over four seasons with the Thunderbirds, along with three goals and 12 assists in 62 NHL outings with the Panthers. Hunt originally signed with Florida as a free agent on March 2, 2016.

Hunt played most of his minor hockey in Nelson before joining Notre Dame Hounds, returning the following season to the Heritage City to play BC Major Midget with the Kootenay Ice. The next season he joined Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League.

Hunt struggled early in Regina with some injuries, playing two games in the 2012-13 season. The next year began to blossom with Regina and the Medicine Hat Tigers.

His final season in the WHL with Moose Jaw, Hunt put up some incredible offensive numbers, earning the 2016 Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as the league's player of the year.

In recognition of being named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week, Hunt will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Thunderbirds home game, Friday, February 21 against the Hartford Wolf Pack. 

The game is the first time in 20 days Springfield has played at home.