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by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes

Right Wing to Play for PlanetUSA in Toronto on Jan. 29

The American Hockey League announced that San Antonio Rampage right wing Bill Thomas has been selected to play for the PlanetUSA team in the league's 2007 Rbk Hockey All-Star Classic, which will be played later this month in Toronto.

Thomas, a 23-year-old native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is among 21 skaters and three goaltenders named to the squad that is comprised of players born outside of Canada. Thomas, who is the sixth player to be nominated to represent the Rampage in the annual event, was chosen to participate in his first AHL All-Star Classic by a committee of the league's coaches.

Thomas, who was not drafted by a NHL club, currently ranks 16th among AHL rookies in scoring with 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists), playing in all 37 games so far this season.

The Phoenix Coyotes signed Thomas as a college free agent to an entry-level contract on Mar. 27, 2006 after playing two seasons at the University of Nebraska-Omaha of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). Last year, he earned CCHA First Team All-Conference honors after leading the CCHA in goals scored (27) and ranking fourth in points (50). In his freshman year, Thomas led the entire nation in scoring among freshmen and earned the CCHA Rookie of the Year. He also was named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team and to the CCHA All-Conference Second Team.

Thomas, who played in the 2004 United States Hockey League All-Star Game, is among 34 of the 48 selections that are heading to their first AHL All-Star Classic.

The 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic will take place at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, home of the AHL's Marlies. The event features the 2007 CCM AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, January 28 (7 p.m. ET) and the 2007 AHL All-Star Game on Monday, January 29 (7 p.m. ET), and will be televised live on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada and on a network of regional broadcast partners in the United States.

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