SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Gulls have announced that Max Birbraer has been named the Kristy’s MVP/Stewart Benjamin Jewelry Player of the Month for February. Birbraer will be presented the award in a pre-game ceremony before Saturday’s game against the Fresno Falcons.
Birbraer led the team in February with 13 points and tied Guillaume Fournier and Sean O’Connor for the club lead with five goals. During San Diego’s 14 games in the month, Birbraer notched a point in nine contests. He also had three multi-point games, including a three-assist night Wednesday, Feb.23 in Victoria.
The 6-foot-2-inch, 198-pound native of Kamenogorski, Kazakhstan is tied overall on the Gulls with a career-high 41 points (15g, 26a). Birbraer is third on the team with 15 goals and second with 26 assists. He’s also second on the club with three game-winning goals.
Birbraer, 23, spent the majority of last season with the Laredo Bucks of the Central Hockey League, posting a previous career high of 30 points (16g, 14a) in 44 games. He also notched five points (3g, 2a) during the Bucks’ run to the 2003-04 CHL title. During his five-year professional career, which includes four years in the American Hockey League, Birbraer has recorded 111 points (50g and 61a) in 259 games.
He was a third-round pick of the New Jersey Devils in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft and was signed as a free agent by the Florida Panthers in 2003. He is the first Israeli to ever be drafted by an NHL team.