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Blue Jackets Prospect Russell Named First Team WHL Eastern All-Star

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Medicine Hat Tigers defenseman Kris Russell, the Columbus Blue Jackets' third round pick at the 2005 Entry Draft, was named a First Team WHL Eastern Conference All-Star for 2006-07 and was the only unanimous selection on either the Eastern or Western squads, the Blue Jackets announced today. He is also a finalist for the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy as the WHL's Defenseman of the Year.

Russell, 19, was the 67th overall pick at the 2005 Entry Draft. He led Medicine Hat in scoring with 32-37-69 and added 56 penalty minutes and a +14 plus/minus rating in 59 games this season. He led all WHL defensemen in goals and ranked second in points, helping the Tigers to a 52-17-3 record, which was best in the Eastern Conference and ranked second in the league.

Russell was named the Canadian Hockey League's Sportsman of the Year, won the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy and captured his second consecutive WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player Award in 2005-06. He also played for Team Canada at the last two World Junior Championships, winning gold medals both years. The Caroline, Alberta native spent the past four seasons with Medicine Hat, registering 76-120-196 and 141 penalty minutes in 241 career WHL games.

The Blue Jackets return to action tonight when they visit the St. Louis Blues. Game time at Scottrade Center is 8 p.m. ET with live coverage on FSN Ohio beginning with the Ice Breaker pre-game show at 7:30 p.m. Coverage also includes the Blue Jackets Ice Cap post-game show immediately following the game. The game will also be broadcast live on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship stations WBNS-AM Sports Radio 1460 The Fan and WWCD-FM, CD101.

Individual game tickets for 2006-07 regular season home games are on sale now at Nationwide Arena, The Blueline Team Stores at The Chiller Ice Rinks and the Mall at Tuttle Crossing, Ticketmaster Ticket Centers and on-line at www.BlueJackets.com and www.ticketmaster.com. For information on season tickets, call (800) NHL-COLS or, mini-plans and group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK, deposits are now being accepted for the 2007-08 season.

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