01/06/2009 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2009
2009 CANADIAN AHL ALL-STAR TEAM ROSTER ANNOUNCED
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The American Hockey League announced today the Canadian AHL All-Star team roster for the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Charter Communications, to be played later this month at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass.
The team comprises 24 players – 13 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders – born in Canada. AHL fans determined the starting lineup via on-line balloting at theahl.com, while a committee of AHL coaches selected the remainder of the roster.
Among the members of the Canadian team are 17 first-time AHL All-Stars, including the AHL's leading goal-scorer in Chris Minard of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the league's top rookie scorer in Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Phantoms and the league's top-scoring defenseman in Johnny Boychuk of the Providence Bruins. Players on the Canadian roster with previous All-Star experience include Providence's Martin St. Pierre, selected for his fourth consecutive All-Star Classic berth, and Houston's Corey Locke, an All-Star in 2006 and 2008.
Hershey Bears defenseman Bryan Helmer was selected to captain the Canadian team, the first AHL All-Star Classic appearance of his 16-year career. Head coach Bob Woods and assistant coach Mark French of the Bears will lead the Canadian team because the Bears owned the AHL's best points percentage at the end of play on Jan. 4.
The PlanetUSA AHL All-Star team roster will be announced on Wednesday.
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 (4:00 p.m. ET), and the 2009 AHL All-Star Game on Monday, January 26 (7:00 p.m. ET). The event will be televised nationally in the United States and Canada.
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.
2009 Canadian AHL All-Star Team Starters
Brian Elliott, Goaltender (Binghamton Senators):
The Reebok X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender of the Month for December 2008, second-year pro Brian Elliott has won an AHL-high 18 games and currently ranks tied for sixth in goals-against average (2.31), second in save percentage (.926) and second in minutes played (1,691) for Binghamton in 2008-09. The native of Newmarket, Ont., was drafted by Ottawa in 2003 and won an NCAA championship at the University of Wisconsin in 2006. He made his NHL debut for the Senators on Oct. 10, 2007, stopping 28 shots in a 3-1 victory at Atlanta.
Johnny Boychuk, Defense (Providence Bruins):
Through 37 games of his first season with the Boston Bruins organization, Johnny Boychuk has already established a new career high with 33 points, which leads all AHL defensemen and ranks third overall on the Providence scoring list. His nine goals are tied for the league lead among blueliners, while his 24 assists rank second. A second-round draft pick by Colorado in 2002, the 24-year-old Edmonton native has recorded 134 points in 331 career AHL games. Boychuk has also appeared in five career NHL games, including one with Boston in 2008-09.
Derek Joslin, Defense (Worcester Sharks):
Second-year pro Derek Joslin leads all Sharks defensemen with seven goals and 20 points while adding a plus-2 rating in 34 games this season. A native of Richmond Hill, Ont., the 21-year-old Joslin recently earned his first NHL recall and made his debut for San Jose on Jan. 3, 2009. Joslin posted 34 points while playing all 80 games for Worcester as a rookie in 2007-08, and he skated in every game over three full junior seasons (2004-07) for the OHL's Ottawa 67's as well.
Alexandre Giroux, Forward (Hershey Bears):
One of the AHL's most prolific scorers this decade, Alexandre Giroux has scored 221 goals and 411 points in 525 career AHL games. The Quebec City native is second in the AHL with 23 goals and tied for fifth with 39 points in just 27 games this season for Hershey, while also chipping in a goal and an assist in 11 NHL games with Washington. The Quebec City is a three-time 30-goal scorer in the AHL and will be making his second appearance in an AHL All-Star Classic.
Claude Giroux, Forward (Philadelphia Phantoms):
A first-round pick by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Claude Giroux leads all AHL rookies with 17 goals (tied) and 33 points in 31 games for the Phantoms this season. The 20-year-old forward registered 14 points and a plus-12 rating in just eight December games en route to earning Reebok Edge/AHL Rookie of the Month honors. A native of Hearst, Ont., Giroux scored a goal in six straight AHL contests prior to his summons on Dec. 26 to the parent Flyers, for whom he has contributed two assists in four games.
Chris Minard, Forward (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins):
In his fourth season in the AHL and his second with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Chris Minard has already secured his third straight 20-goal campaign, leading the AHL with 26 goals and 13 power-play markers. The Owen Sound, Ont., native began the season with a 14-game scoring sterak and is currently tied for second in the league with 41 points in 30 games. Minard has also posted a goal and an assist in 22 career NHL contests for Pittsburgh, including seven appearances this year.