The American Hockey League have officially announced this year’s rosters for the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic. The Milwaukee Admirals will have two representatives this year in Utica, New York as both Anders Lindbäck and Emil Pettersson have been selected for the Central Division All-Stars.
Press Release via AHL:
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today the playing rosters for the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino, to be held January 28-29 in Utica, N.Y.
Each of the AHL’s four divisions will be represented by 12 players. Rosters were determined by committees of AHL coaches, and all 30 AHL teams are represented by at least one All-Star.
The 2018 rosters feature 37 first-time AHL All-Stars, seven former first-round draft choices and 12 more second-rounders. In addition, 25 of the All-Stars named have been recalled to the National Hockey League already this season, including standouts Kasperi Kapanen of the Toronto Marlies (Toronto), Daniel Sprong of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh), Luke Kunin of the Iowa Wild (Minnesota) and Dylan Strome and Nick Merkley of the Tucson Roadrunners (Arizona).
Also named to the All-Star rosters are Chicago Wolves forward Brandon Pirri, the MVP of the 2014 AHL All-Star Game; Lehigh Valley Phantoms defenseman T.J. Brennan, an All-Star for the fifth consecutive year; and 2018 United States Olympian Chris Bourque of the Hershey Bears, who would be making his record-tying sixth All-Star appearance.
Providence Bruins head coach Jay Leach, Toronto Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe, Manitoba Moose head coach Pascal Vincent and Tucson Roadrunners head coach Mike Van Ryn will serve as coaches for the event.
The 2018 AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 28 (8 p.m. ET) will pit the All-Stars from the two Eastern Conference divisions against those from the two Western Conference divisions in seven skills events.
In the 2018 AHL All-Star Challenge on Jan. 29 (7 p.m. ET), the four teams will participate in a round-robin tournament featuring six games of 10 minutes each, played entirely at 3-on-3. The two teams with the best records at the end of the round-robin will face off for the championship, a six-minute game also played at 3-on-3.
Tickets for the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino are priced at $39, $49, $69, $89 and $99, and include admission to both the Skills Competition on Jan. 28 and the All-Star Challenge on Jan. 29. To purchase event tickets, visit the Adirondack Bank Center box office or go online to http://www.empirestatetix.com.
The 2018 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League: since 1995, more than 93 percent of All-Star Classic participants have gone on to compete in the National Hockey League, including Jake Allen, Artem Anisimov, Patrice Bergeron, Ben Bishop, Troy Brouwer, Ryan Callahan, Zdeno Chara, Logan Couture, Braden Holtby, Tyler Johnson, Martin Jones, Chris Kunitz, Zach Parise, Tuukka Rask, Pekka Rinne, Bobby Ryan, Cory Schneider, Patrick Sharp, Jason Spezza, P.K. Subban and Mats Zuccarello.
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives, broadcasters and staff of all 31 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers. In 2016-17, over 6 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America for the 16th year in a row.
Atlantic Division All-Stars: Chris Bourque (Hershey Bears), Austin Czarnik (Providence Bruins), Tanner Fritz (Bridgeport Sound Tigers), Alexandre Grenier (Springfield Thunderbirds), Danick Martel (Lehigh Valley Phantoms), Daniel Sprong (W-B/Scranton Penguins), Valentin Zykov (Charlotte Checkers), Sebastian Aho (Bridgeport Sound Tigers), T.J. Brennan (Lehigh Valley Phantoms), John Gilmour (Hartford Wolf Pack), Jordan Binnington (Providence Bruins), Casey DeSmith (W-B/Scranton Penguins), Jay Leach (Providence Bruins)
North Division All-Stars: Reid Boucher (Utica Comets), Gabriel Gagne (Belleville Senators), Kasperi Kapanen (Toronto Marlies), Bracken Kearns (Binghamton Devils), Matthew Peca (Syracuse Crunch), C.J. Smith (Rochester Americans), Chris Terry (Laval Rocket), Travis Dermott (Toronto Marlies), Jacob MacDonald (Binghamton Devils), Matt Taormina (Laval Rocket), Thatcher Demko (Utica Comets), Linus Ullmark (Rochester Americans), Sheldon Keefe (Toronto Marlies)
Central Division All-Stars: Vinnie Hinostroza (Rockford IceHogs), Luke Kunin (Iowa Wild), Matt Lorito (Grand Rapids Griffins), Emil Pettersson (Milwaukee Admirals), Brandon Pirri (Chicago Wolves), Matt Puempel (Grand Rapids Griffins), Jack Roslovic (Manitoba Moose), Erik Gustafsson (Rockford IceHogs) Dean Kukan (Cleveland Monsters), Cameron Schilling (Manitoba Moose), Michael Hutchinson (Manitoba Moose), Anders Lindback (Milwaukee Admirals), Pascal Vincent (Manitoba Moose)
Pacific Division All-Stars: Rocco Grimaldi (San Antonio Rampage), Andrew Mangiapane (Stockton Heat), Curtis McKenzie (Texas Stars), Nick Merkley (Tucson Roadrunners), Ty Rattie (Bakersfield Condors), Dylan Strome (Tucson Roadrunners), Brett Sutter (Ontario Reign), Rasmus Andersson (Stockton Heat), Jordan Schmaltz (San Antonio Rampage), Andy Welinski (San Diego Gulls), Antoine Bibeau (San Jose Barracuda), Cal Petersen (Ontario Reign), Mike Van Ryn (Tucson Roadrunners)
Lindbäck has been nothing short of spectacular this season. The 29-year old from Gävle, Sweden is currently tied for the league lead with 15 wins on the season. He has a 2.52 goals against average, 0.922 save percentage, and shutout to his name.
Pettersson is having a really strong start to his first pro season in North America. He currently is second on the Admirals in scoring with 24 points (8 goals, 16 assists) in 29 games.
If memory serves, this would the first time since the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic that two Admirals have been announced to the All-Star Game back when Frédérick Gaudreau and Vladislav Kamenev were selected. In that occasion Kamenev would eventually drop off the roster after competing in World Juniors. Which would then make the pair of Magnus Hellberg and Brendan Leipsic from 2015 your last real Admiral All-Star duo.
The 2018 AHL All-Star Classic will once again feature a format utilizing a round robin three-on-three tournament. The Central Division All-Stars have won every AHL All-Star Classic since this format has been adopted in 2016.
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