2013-14 AHL All-Rookie Team (stats through Apr. 8)
Goaltender – Joni Ortio, Abbotsford Heat (34gp, 24-8-0, 2.37gaa, .924vs%, 2so)
Defenseman – Brenden Kichton, St. John’s IceCaps (71gp, 10+35=45pts., +5, 3 GWG)
Defenseman – Ryan Sproul, Grand Rapids Griffins (70gp, 10+21=31pts., 4 PPG, 2 GWG)
Forward – Curtis McKenzie, Texas Stars (70gp, 22+38=60pts., 9 PPG, 4 GWG)
Forward – Teemu Pulkkinen, Grand Rapids Griffins (67gp, 30+25=55pts., +18, 9 PPG, 2 GWG)
Forward – Ryan Strome, Bridgeport Sound Tigers (37gp, 13+36=49pts., +16, 21 PP pts.)
Each player will receive a custom-designed crystal award in recognition of his selection to the 2013-14 AHL All-Rookie Team.
Previous selections to the annual AHL All-Rookie Team include Zdeno Chara (1998), J.S. Giguere (1998), Marc Savard (1998), Daniel Briere (1998), Dan Boyle (1999), Cory Sarich (1999), Barret Jackman (2002), Ron Hainsey (2002), Jason Spezza (2003), Brad Boyes (2003), Cam Ward (2005), Thomas Vanek (2005), Rene Bourque (2005), Kevin Bieksa (2005), Jimmy Howard (2006), Dan Girardi (2006), Mike Green (2006), Jaroslav Halak (2007), Troy Brouwer (2007), Ryan Callahan (2007), Bobby Ryan (2008), Teddy Purcell (2008), Brian Boyle (2008), Alex Goligoski (2008), Nathan Gerbe (2009), Justin Abdelkader (2009), John Carlson (2010), P.K. Subban (2010), Logan Couture (2010), Lars Eller (2010), Eddie Lack (2011), Brendan Smith (2011), Gustav Nyquist (2012), Tyler Johnson (2012), Cory Conacher (2012), Justin Schultz (2013), Sami Vatanen (2013), Jason Zucker (2013) and Tyler Toffoli (2013).
|2013-14 AHL All-Rookie Team|
|Joni Ortio, Goaltender (Abbotsford Heat):
In his first full season of pro hockey in North America, Joni Ortio has helped the Abbotsford Heat return to the Calder Cup Playoffs on the strength of a 24-8-0 record in 34 appearances. After winning his first nine decisions of the season, Ortio has gone on to rank sixth in the league in victories, third in save percentage (.924) and eighth in goals-against average (2.37). The 22-year-old native of Turku, Finland, was a 2009 draft choice by Calgary and made his NHL debut with the Flames this season, going 4-4-0 in nine appearances with the parent club.
|Brenden Kichton, Defense (St. John’s IceCaps):
Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in 2013, defenseman Brenden Kichton made his pro debut in 2013-14 and has been the AHL’s top-scoring rookie blueliner all season, showing 10 goals and 35 assists for 45 points while skating in all 71 games for St. John’s to date. Kichton, who had a pair of five-game scoring streaks this season, represented the host IceCaps at the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic at Mile One Centre and was named the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for January. The 21-year-old native of Edmonton, Alta., played five junior seasons at Spokane (WHL).
|Ryan Sproul, Defense (Grand Rapids Griffins):
A second-round draft choice by Detroit in 2011, Ryan Sproul has stepped into the Grand Rapids lineup this season and has contributed at both ends of the ice. His 10 goals and 31 points are both tied for second among all rookie defensemen in the AHL, and he has helped solidify a Griffins defense that ranks second in the league allowing just 2.43 goals per game on the year. Sproul, a 21-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., was the Canadian Major Junior Defenseman of the Year playing for Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) last season.
|Curtis McKenzie, Forward (Texas Stars):
The top-scoring rookie in the AHL, Curtis McKenzie has notched 22 goals and 38 assists for 60 points in 70 games for the league-leading Texas Stars. The CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for December has registered 15 multiple-point games, and he tied a franchise record with four assists in one contest on Jan. 17 at Charlotte. McKenzie also has 32 power-play points on the year – most among AHL rookies – helping the Stars to the top-ranked unit in the league. A 23-year-old native of Golden, B.C., McKenzie was drafted by the Dallas Stars in 2009 and played four seasons at Miami University.
|Teemu Pulkkinen, Forward (Grand Rapids Griffins):
After appearing in 14 playoff games and helping Grand Rapids to a Calder Cup title last spring, Teemu Pulkkinen has shined during his first pro season in North America, leading the defending champs with 30 goals and 55 points in 67 games. Among AHL rookies, Pulkkinen, a 22-year-old native of Vantaa, Finland, ranks first in goals, third in points and first in plus/minus with his plus-18 rating. Pulkkinen was selected by Detroit in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, and made his NHL debut with the Red Wings this season skating in three games.
|Ryan Strome, Forward (Bridgeport Sound Tigers):
Ryan Strome is still Bridgeport’s team leader in assists (36), points (49) and plus/minus (+16) despite appearing in just 37 games for the Sound Tigers, who had a .568 points percentage (19-14-1-3) with Strome in the lineup but have gone 8-22-1-3 (.294) without him. Strome, who won back-to-back CCM/AHL Player of the Week awards and was the league’s Rookie of the Month for November, had a point in 10 consecutive AHL games over one stretch and played in the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic. The fifth overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Strome also has five goals and 11 assists in 34 NHL games for the New York Islanders this season.