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Three Preds Prospects Named to AHL All-Star Game

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
Santorelli, O’Reilly, Franson to Play for Team Canada in AHL All-Star Game

Milwaukee, WI—The American Hockey League announced today that Milwaukee Admirals Centers Cal O’Reilly and Mike Santorelli and defenseman Cody Franson have been selected to play in the 2009 AHL All Star Classic presented by Charter Communications in Worcester, MA on January 25th and 26th.

Santorelli leads the Admirals and is currently tied for second in the AHL with 41 points on 13 goals and 28 assists. The Vancouver, BC native was selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for December after torching Admirals opponents with 23 points (8g-15a) in just 14 games and helping the team to a record-tying 12 wins in the month. Santorelli tied an AHL season high when he posted at least a point in 14 consecutive games, a streak that also included a goal in six straight contests as well.

A Northern Michigan University alum, Santorelli is in his second season with the Admirals, after he recorded 42 points (21g-21a), 60 penalty minutes and a +2 rating during his rookie campaign last year. In his combined two seasons with Milwaukee he has never missed a game, playing in all 115 games during that time. In three seasons at Northern Michigan Santorelli posted 61 goals and 49 assists for 110 points in 121 career games.

O’Reilly ranks second on the Admirals roster and is tied for seventh in the American Hockey League with 38 points (6g-32a) thus far this season. The Toronto, ON native tops the circuit with 18 assists on the power-play and his 32 helpers places him second in the league. The 5-11, 185-pound center has registered 11 multi-point games, including a team-high four three-point nights, and he posted a nine-game scoring streak from October 17th through November 7th.

Nearly a point-a-game scorer in his three seasons with the Admirals, O’Reilly has recorded 182 points (40g-142a) in 195 career games. In 2007-08 he led the team and was fifth in the AHL with 79 points. In addition he also topped the Milwaukee roster in assists (63), shorthanded goals (5), plus/minus (+9), and multi-point games (18). During his rookie campaign in 2006-07, O’Reilly led the team with 47 assists and was second on the squad with 65 points.

Franson has totaled five goals and 16 assists for 21 points, a +5 rating and 18 penalty minutes. His 21 points place him second among Milwaukee blueliners and tied for seventh among AHL defensemen. A staple on the Admirals power-play, over half of Franson’s points (12) have come on the man-advantage. The Sicamous, BC native has recorded five multi-point games, including a three-point performance on November 16th against Grand Rapids.

Nashville’s third selection in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Franson was selected the the AHL’s All-Rookie Team in the 2007-08 campaign after leading league rookie defensemen in goals scored (11), assists (23), and points (34) in 69 games with the Admirals. His 23 assists were tied for the top spot among Milwaukee blueliners and his eight power-play tallies were second most on the entire team. Franson spent four seasons playing for the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League where he helped to guide the team to a pair of WHL Championships and also the 2007 Memorial Cup Title.

This is the first AHL All-Star selection for each of player, and all three will suit-up for Team Canada in the event.

The 2009 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Charter Communications will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League competing in the 2009 AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, January 25 (3:00 p.m. CT), and the 2009 AHL All-Star Game on Monday, January 26 (6:00 p.m. ET). The event will be televised nationally in the United States and Canada, including live on Time Warner Sports, Channel 32, in Southeast Wisconsin and the Fox Valley.

Of the 455 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 94 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Brad Boyes, Dan Boyle, Brian Campbell, Zdeno Chara, Rick DiPietro, Jiri Hudler, Miikka Kiprusoff, Kari Lehtonen, Ryan Miller, Zach Parise, Martin St. Louis, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal and Tomas Vokoun.
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