Today the American Hockey League announced their 2012-13 AHL First and Second All-Star Teams, as voted by AHL coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 30 member cities. With this honor, each member of the team is presented a crystal award in honor of his selection to the team. So, without further ado, here are your First and Second Team Rosters. (Please note that this is a lot funner to read if you do so with an announcer’s voice.)
First All-Star Team
From the Providence Bruins, goaltender Niklas Svedberg. Svedberg has been a key asset to the baby Bruins squad as he has starred in 45 games with the team, posting a 34-8-0 record. He has helped the Bruins clinch their first Division title since the late 90′s and first post-season since 2008. He was the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for March, and is the first rookie netminder named to the AHL’s First All-Star Team since Jim Carey in 1994-95.
From the Oklahoma City Barons, defenseman Justin Schultz has been selected. Schultz began his season with the Barons and was named October’s CCM/Rookie of the Month and the Rookie of the month for November. He paced the team with 18 goals and 48 points prior to his call up with Edmonton in January. Since debuting in the NHL he has posted 20 points in 40 games for the club.
Two-time defenseman of the year Sami Vatanen of the Norfolk Admirals has been among one of the top players of the league this season. He is currently tied for the AHL lead among defensemen with 36 assists and ranks second in points with 44.
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault is the fourth person named to the First All-Star team, notching 63 points in 68 games, helping the Springfield Falcons advance to the playoffs for the first time in ten years. He was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Month of January after posting 17 points in 12 games.
The next player was able to post 17 multi-point games this season, including his first professional hattrick this season on February 18 against the Albany Devils. Syracuse Crunch forward Tyler Johnson ranks second overall in goals scored with 32 and third in plus/minus with +25.
Last but not least from the Grand Rapids Griffins, Gustav Nyquist. He was an All-Rookie Selection just 365 days ago and notched 23 goals this season along with 37 assists for 60 points.
Second All-Star Team
Starting in net for the Second All-Star Team is Curtis McElhinney of the Springfield Falcons. McElhinney has been one of the biggest factors in the fresh new Falcons squad, helping lead them to a winning record and their first playoff run in a decade. He sports a 28-14-3 record and .924 save percentage with a 2.25 goals against average.
On defense we have last season’s Eddie Shore winner for the AHL’s best defenseman, from the Syracuse Crunch, Mark Barberio. He has registered 8 goals and 32 assists in 70 games for the Crunch this season. He was a 2008 draft pick for the Tampa Bay Lightning and made his debut in the NHL ion April 9.
Representing Chicago, Illinois we have Adam Clendening from the Rockford IceHogs. He was part of the All-Star festivities in Prvidence this season and helped fill the third rookie defenseman spot on the team for Rockford this season. In 69 games he has 7 goals and 36 assists.
Moving our way up the line we have Matt Fraser, the league’s leading scorer. Last season he finished in second place with 37 goals in his rookie season. This year he recorded 33 with the Texas Stars and has improved his plus/minus rating from -13 to a +13.
What would an all-star team be without another bear in it? Of course it’s not from Providence, but Hershey is just as well. Jeff Taffe may be in his 11th professional playing career, but this will be his first career post-season AHL All-Star Team run. He leads the Bears in scoring with 18 goals and 46 assists through 67 games this season.
Of course we have saved the best for last in announcing the final roster spot that belongs to, drum roll please…Brett Connolly. The third member of the Syracuse Crunch and the final member being announced to this season’s team. He was the CCM/AHL Player of the Month in February after posting 15 points in 13 games, including a 9-game goal-scoring streak. He currently has 27 goals and 30 assists with a +15 rating in 67 games for the Crunch. Seems to me like Tampa Bay is going to have a pretty dominant future ahead, fans beware!
The League also announced Man of the Year winners yesterday and we will have a post to follow. For now, give a big round of applause for these amazing individuals who have worked hard all season and have earned this opportunity.