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Schultz, Johnson headline AHL All-Star teams

Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 4:37 PM / News

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Schultz, Johnson headline AHL All-Star teams
Despite not having played in the American Hockey League in more than three months, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz was named to the league's First All-Star team for the 2012-13 season.

Despite not having played in the American Hockey League in more than three months, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz was named to the league's First All-Star team for the 2012-13 season.

The University of Wisconsin product still leads all AHL defensemen with 48 points after starting the season with the Oklahoma City Barons, and has tallied 20 points in 40 games with the Oilers.

Schultz wasn't the only rookie on the AHL First All-Star team, which included Providence Bruins goaltender Niklas Svedberg, who posted a 34-8-0 record in his first AHL season after previously playing with Brynas IF Gayle of the Swedish Elite League.

Another first-year player, defenseman Sami Vatanen of the Norfolk Admirals, earned first-team honors after spending last season with Jyvaskyla of the Finnish Elite League.

The AHL's First All-Star forwards were made up entirely of second-year players in Jonathan Audy-Marchessault of the Springfield Falcons, Gustav Nyquist of the Grand Rapids Griffins and Tyler Johnson of the Syracuse Crunch. Johnson was the AHL's leading goal scorer when he was called up by the Tampa Bay Lightning last month, while Nyquist was near the top of the league in scoring when the Detroit Red Wings added him to their roster on March 20.

The AHL Second All-Star team features more veteran talent, including Springfield goaltender Curtis McElhinney, who has appeared in 69 NHL games. Defenseman Adam Clendening of the Rockford IceHogs was the only rookie on the second team, which was rounded out by forwards Matt Fraser of the Texas Stars and Jeff Taffe of the Hershey Bears as well as two more Syracuse Crunch players in defenseman Mark Barberio and forward Brett Connolly, who joined the Lightning earlier this month.

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You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

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