The American Hockey League announced today the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star rosters for the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross, to take place Jan. 30-31 at Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.
Portland Pirates defenseman Drew Schiestel
and forward Luke Adam
were among the 46 players announced today that will make up the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star Teams. Schiestel, a native of Hamilton, Ontario, is currently in his second season with the Pirates. In 36 games this season he has already topped every offensive number from his rookie season by posting 18 points (4-14-18) with a plus/minus rating of +10. The 21 year-old also has enjoyed a career-high five-game point streak (1-4-5) and played in two NHL pre-season games with the Buffalo Sabres netting a goal in a game played against the Montreal Canadiens on September 30th.
Adam burst onto the scene in his first season of professional hockey. Receiving a brief taste of the AHL last season in three playoff games, Adam did not waste any time making his mark on the league. He was named the first Reebok/AHL Player of the Week of the season following a two goal and two assist performance in the Pirates season opening victory over Manchester. Adam’s strong play in the AHL, 22 points (12-10-22) in 20 games, is currently in the midst of his fourth recall of the season with the Buffalo Sabres. He made his NHL debut against the Philadelphia Flyers on October 26th, and scored his first career NHL goal against the Boston Bruins on December 7th. During his time with the Sabres, the 20 year-old St. John’s, Newfoundland native, who was the Reebok/AHL Rookie of the Month for October, has totaled three goals and an assist in 16 games.
Each team will be comprised of 12 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders. AHL fans determined the starting lineups via on-line balloting at theahl.com, while a committee of AHL coaches selected the remainder of the rosters. All 30 AHL teams are represented by at least one All-Star.
The 2011 squads include 31 first-time AHL All-Stars and 11 rookies. Among that group are AHL rookie scoring leader Rhett Rakhshani of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, leading rookie goal-scorer Bobby Butler of the Binghamton Senators, and standout first-year goaltenders Jake Allen of the Peoria Rivermen and Martin Jones of the Manchester Monarchs.
A total of 12 former first- and second-round draft picks were also named All-Stars, including Syracuse’s Kyle Palmieri, Springfield’s John Moore and Grand Rapids’ Brendan Smith. Players returning to the AHL All-Star Classic include AHL leading scorer Corey Locke of Binghamton, who is the all-time leading scorer in AHL All-Star history with nine points in four previous appearances. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Dustin Jeffrey, Hershey’s Andrew Gordon, Charlotte’s Bryan Rodney, Manchester’s Viatcheslav Voynov, Manitoba’s Sergei Shirokov and Houston’s Maxim Noreau are all back in the midseason classic after making their first appearance in 2010.
Hershey Bears head coach Mark French and assistant coach Troy Mann will guide the Eastern Conference All-Stars by virtue of the Bears’ 2010 Calder Cup championship. Rookie head coaches John Hynes of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Jared Bednar of the Peoria Rivermen are set to co-coach the Western Conference entry after their teams finished play this past Sunday with the best records in their respective conferences.
The 2011 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross in Hershey will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League, competing in the AHL All-Star Skills Competition and the AHL All-Star Game, a two-day event to be televised nationally in the United States and Canada. Of the 528 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 93 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Dan Boyle, Daniel Briere, Dustin Byfuglien, Brian Campbell, Zdeno Chara, Eric Fehr, Miikka Kiprusoff, Kari Lehtonen, Ryan Miller
, Zach Parise, Bobby Ryan, Martin St. Louis, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal and Tomas Vokoun.