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2016-17 AHL All-Rookie Team named

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has announced the 2016-17 AHL All-Rookie Team, as voted by coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 30 member cities.

2016-17 AHL All-Rookie Team (stats through Apr. 4)

Goaltender – Casey DeSmith, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (25gp, 19-4-2, 2.14gaa, .920sv%, 1so)
Defense – Devon Toews, Bridgeport Sound Tigers (71gp, 4+37=41pts., +5)
Defense – Kyle Wood, Tucson Roadrunners (63gp, 13+27=40pts., 10 PPG)
Forward – Jake Guentzel, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (33gp, 21+21=42pts., +21, 5 PPG)
Forward – Mark Jankowski, Stockton Heat (59gp, 26+25=51pts., +16, 7 PPG, 4 GWG)
Forward – Daniel O’Regan, San Jose Barracuda (58gp, 21+33=54pts., +7, 9 PPG, 5 GWG)

Each player will receive a custom-designed crystal award in recognition of his selection to the 2016-17 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Previous selections to the annual AHL All-Rookie Team include Zdeno Chara (1998), Daniel Briere (1998), Dan Boyle (1999), Cory Sarich (1999), Barret Jackman (2002), Ron Hainsey (2002), Jason Spezza (2003), Antoine Vermette (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), 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), Tyler Johnson (2012), Gustav Nyquist (2012), Justin Schultz (2013), Sami Vatanen (2013), Jason Zucker (2013), Tyler Toffoli (2013), Ryan Strome (2014), Teemu Pulkkinen (2014), Matt Murray (2015), Connor Brown (2015), Viktor Arvidsson (2015), Juuse Saros (2016), Frank Vatrano (2016) and Mikko Rantanen (2016).

The 2016-17 First and Second AHL All-Star Teams will be announced on Thursday.

2016-17 AHL All-Rookie Team

Photo: KDP Studio
Photo: KDP Studio

Casey DeSmith, Goaltender (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins):
In his first full AHL season, Casey DeSmith has helped backstop Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to first place in the Eastern Conference standings as well as the league’s top-ranked defense, posting a record of 19-4-2 in his 25 appearances in 2016-17. DeSmith currently ranks fourth in the AHL with a 2.14 goals-against average and 11th with a .920 save percentage, and he earned his first professional shutout on Apr. 1 vs. Lehigh Valley. DeSmith, a 25-year-old native of Rochester, N.H., signed as a free agent with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on July 5, 2016, after helping the Penguins reach the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs on a tryout contract last spring.

Puck Stopper Photography
Puck Stopper Photography

Devon Toews, Defenseman (Bridgeport Sound Tigers):
Selected by the New York Islanders in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Devon Toews has skated in all 71 games to date for Bridgeport and leads all AHL rookies with 37 assists while tying for the league lead among rookie defensemen with 41 points. The 23-year-old native of Abbotsford, B.C., turned pro after three seasons at Quinnipiac University, and represented the Sound Tigers at the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic.

Photo: Kate Dibildox
Photo: Kate Dibildox

Kyle Wood, Defenseman (Tucson Roadrunners):
Rookie blueliner Kyle Wood has been among Tucson’s offensive leaders this season, posting 13 goals and 27 assists for 40 points in 63 games for the Roadrunners. The 20-year-old from Waterloo, Ont., was named the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for October and now leads all AHL rookies with 10 power-play goals and 25 power-play points. Wood, a third-round choice by Colorado in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, represented Tucson at the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic.

Photo: KDP Studio
Photo: KDP Studio

Jake Guentzel, Forward (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins):
Jake Guentzel racked up 21 goals and 21 assists for 42 points in just 33 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before his graduation to the National Hockey League, where he has continued to impress with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite not having played for Wilkes-Barre since Jan. 14, Guentzel remains tied for fifth among all AHL rookies in goals and third in plus/minus (+21), and his 1.27 points-per-game average is second-highest in the entire league. A 22-year-old native of Woodbury, Minn., Guentzel was a third-round draft pick by Pittsburgh in 2013.

Photo: Scott Dinn
Photo: Scott Dinn

Mark Jankowski, Forward (Stockton Heat):
Calgary’s first-round selection (21st overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Mark Jankowski has made a splash in his rookie season out of Providence College, currently leading all AHL rookies with 26 goals and pacing Stockton with 51 points in 59 games. Jankowski, whose plus-16 rating is tied for sixth among rookies league-wide, was the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for March and enters Wednesday’s action on a nine-game scoring streak. The 22-year-old native of St. Catharines, Ont., made his NHL debut with the Flames on Nov. 28, 2016, and participated in the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic.

Photo: Scott Dinn
Photo: Scott Dinn

Daniel O’Regan, Forward (San Jose Barracuda):
The AHL’s top-scoring rookie this season, Daniel O’Regan enters Wednesday’s action having registered 21 goals and 33 assists for 54 points in 58 games with San Jose, putting him atop the ledger for the league-leading Barracuda. Born in Berlin, Germany, before moving with his family to Needham, Mass., the 23-year-old O’Regan has also scored nine power-play goals while being assessed just four minor penalties all year. O’Regan, who represented the Barracuda at the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic, was a fifth-round pick by the San Jose Sharks in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and made his National Hockey League debut this season, appearing in two games.