Instituted by the AHL Board of Governors in the summer of 2001, the Emile Francis Trophy recognizes a Hockey Hall of Famer who competed in over 350 AHL games with Hershey, New Haven, Cincinnati and Cleveland, including a run to the Calder Cup championship with the Barons in 1954.

Upon his retirement as a player, Emile Francis served as both head coach and general manager for the NHL's New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues, while actively supporting youth hockey across the United States. In 1982, Francis earned the Lester Patrick Award for his outstanding service to hockey.

Presented to the winner of the North Division in 2002 and 2003, the Emile Francis Trophy is now awarded annually to the Atlantic Division champion.

2014-15 Manchester Monarchs Atlantic Division
2013-14 Manchester Monarchs Atlantic Division
2012-13 Providence Bruins Atlantic Division
2011-12 St. John's IceCaps Atlantic Division
2010-11 Portland Pirates Atlantic Division
2009-10 Worcester Sharks Atlantic Division
2008-09 Hartford Wolf Pack Atlantic Division
2007-08 Providence Bruins Atlantic Division
2006-07 Manchester Monarchs Atlantic Division
Portland Pirates
Atlantic Division
Manchester Monarchs
Atlantic Division
Hartford Wolf Pack
Atlantic Division
Providence Bruins
North Division
Lowell Lock Monsters
North Division