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by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
Hurricanes forwards will make their first All-Star Game appearances


RALEIGH, NC—The National Hockey League today announced that Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal and right wing Justin Williams have been named to the Eastern Conference’s team for the 2007 NHL All-Star Game. It will be the first All-Star Game appearance for each player. The 2007 NHL All-Star Game takes place on Jan. 24 in Dallas.

Staal, 22, is in his third NHL season and ranks second among Hurricanes skaters in goals (19) and fifth in points (37) in 46 games played this season. The Thunder Bay, Ont., native ranked sixth in the NHL in scoring in 2005-06 with 100 points, and was eighth in the NHL in goals (45) and tied for eighth in power-play goals (19). During the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Staal led the league in points (28), assists (19), power-play goals (7), power-play assists (10), power-play points (17) and shots (87). He had points in 20 of the Hurricanes’ 25 postseason contests, establishing single-year franchise playoff records for assists (19), points (28), shots (87) and point-streak (15 games). Staal was Carolina’s first-round pick (2nd overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and has totaled 75 goals and 93 assists (168 points) in 209 games.

Williams, 25, is in his sixth NHL season and leads the Hurricanes in goals this season (21) and ranks third in points (41). A native of Cobourg, Ont., Williams is tied for second in the NHL in game-winning goals this season with six. He is tied for 16th in the league in goals (21), tied for 14th in power-play goals (9) and tied for 10th in shorthanded goals. In 2005-06, Williams ranked second among Hurricanes in goals (31) and points (76) and third on the team in assists (45). During the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he was third on the team and sixth in the NHL in scoring with 18 points and tied for first on the team and fourth in the NHL in plus/minus (+12). A first-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Williams was acquired by Carolina on Jan. 20, 2004 in exchange for Danny Markov. He has 100 goals and 150 assists (250 points) in 386 career NHL games with the Flyers and Hurricanes.

The Carolina Hurricanes host the Southeast Division-leading Atlanta Thrashers tonight at the RBC Center (7 p.m., Hurricanes Radio Network). Tickets are available at the RBC Center box office, all TicketMaster locations, by calling 919-834-4000 or via For information on Hurricanes ticket packages, please call 1-866-NHL-CANES or visit

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