2005-06 AHL All-Star Teams unveiled

The American Hockey League announced today the 2005-06 AHL First and Second All-Star Teams, as voted by AHL players and media in each of the league’s 27 member cities.

Each All-Star Team member will receive a custom designed crystal award in recognition of his selection to the 2005-06 AHL First and Second All-Star Teams.

2005-06 AHL First All-Star Team

Dany Sabourin, Goaltender (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins)
In his second season in the Penguins organization, Dany Sabourin has been outstanding in net for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, posting a record of 27-14-4 in 45 games, tying for first in the American Hockey League with a 2.26 goals-against average and ranking one point off the lead with a .922 save percentage. Sabourin is also tied for third in the league in victories, setting a Penguins team record in that category, and is tied for fourth with three shutouts as Wilkes-Barre sits on the brink of its first division title. Sabourin, a 25-year-old native of Val d’Or, Que., represented the Pens at the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic.

Andy Delmore, Defenseman (Syracuse Crunch)
Acquired by the Columbus Blue Jackets at the start of the 2005-06 season, Andy Delmore currently leads AHL defensemen with 17 goals, 50 assists and 67 points in 63 games for Syracuse, and ranks second with 11 power-play goals. The ninth-year pro from LaSalle, Ont., rattled off a 15-game scoring streak from Dec. 10 to Jan. 14, the longest by an AHL blueliner in 12 years. Delmore, a Calder Cup champion as a rookie with Philadelphia in 1998, has skated in five NHL games with the Blue Jackets this season, as well as in the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic.

Curtis Murphy, Defenseman (Houston Aeros)
One of the most durable and decorated defensemen of his era, Curtis Murphy becomes the seventh blueliner in AHL history to receive as many as three career First Team All-Star nods, and the first in the last 30 years. A two-time Eddie Shore Award winner, two-time Calder Cup champion and four-time AHL All-Star Classic participant, Murphy has set career highs with 50 assists and 60 points while skating in all 75 Aeros games to date. The eighth-year pro from Kerrobert, Sask., has also been named Houston’s team recipient of the American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year honor, making him a finalist for the league’s Yanick Dupre Memorial Award.

Donald MacLean, Left Wing (Grand Rapids Griffins)
Already 20 goals past his previous career high, Donald MacLean has rewritten the Griffins’ record books in a memorable 2005-06 campaign. His league-high 53 goals are the most ever by a pro hockey player in a Grand Rapids history that dates back nearly six decades, his 21 power-play goals are a Griffins record, his 82 points are good for seventh in the AHL, and his 19-game scoring streak earlier this year highlighted a stretch in which he tallied 39 goals in 38 games. MacLean, a native of Sydney, N.S., also scored two goals in the AHL All-Star Game and won the hardest shot event at the annual All-Star Skills Competition.

Erik Westrum, Center (Houston Aeros)
In his first season playing for his hometown organization, Minneapolis native Erik Westrum had never tallied more than 42 points in any of his first four pro campaigns before erupting for 31 goals and 92 points in 68 games for Houston in 2005-06. Westrum, who was one point off the AHL scoring lead when he was recalled by Minnesota on Mar. 20, began the season with four assists on opening night, strung together an 11-game scoring streak in December and registered 20 points in a nine-game span during January. Westrum made his first career AHL All-Star Classic appearance this year in Winnipeg.

Kirby Law, Right Wing (Houston Aeros)
Aeros captain Kirby Law is having the most prolific season of his eight-year career, scoring 40 goals and adding 64 assists for a league-leading 104 points in 75 games for Houston, which becomes the first club since the 1998-99 Providence Bruins with three First Team All-Stars. Law, who also leads Houston with a plus/minus rating of plus-15, rattled off a 16-game scoring streak prior to the All-Star break, establishing a franchise record. A native of McCreary, Man., Law played in his 500th career AHL game on Dec. 28, and notched his 400th AHL point on Feb. 15.

2005-06 AHL Second All-Star Team

Wade Flaherty, Goaltender (Manitoba Moose)
Veteran backstop Wade Flaherty ranks among the AHL’s leaders in goals-against average (2.45, T-5th) and save percentage (.917, 6th) and has posted a league-best six shutouts for Manitoba in 2005-06. The co-MVP of the 2006 AHL All-Star Game, Flaherty has earned 24 victories with the Moose this season, his highest win total since back in the 1993-94 season. Flaherty, a native of Terrace, B.C., is set to lead Manitoba into the Calder Cup Playoffs, where his previous experience includes winning the championship and earning playoff MVP honors with Milwaukee in 2004.

Bryan Helmer, Defenseman (Grand Rapids Griffins)
One of the AHL’s top two-way defensemen, Bryan Helmer has recorded 11 goals and 42 assists for 53 points in 76 games for league-leading Grand Rapids this season, and his plus-23 rating ranks first among all AHL blueliners. Helmer, who was also a First Team AHL All-Star in 1998, has netted eight of his 11 goals on the power play, and has tied Niklas Kronwall’s team record for points by a defenseman in one season. Earlier this week, Helmer was named the Griffins’ finalist for the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award as the AHL’s Man of the Year for his work in the Grand Rapids community.

Thomas Pock, Defenseman (Hartford Wolf Pack)
A second-year pro out of the University of Massachusetts, Thomas Pock places second among AHL defensemen in scoring this season with 60 points on 15 goals and 45 assists in 65 games for Hartford. The native of Klagenfurt, Austria, became the first Wolf Pack defenseman to record four points in a game, accomplishing the feat three times in 2005-06. Pock represented Hartford at the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic, and has also skated in four NHL games with the N.Y. Rangers this year, tallying one goal and one assist.

Jiri Hudler, Left Wing (Grand Rapids Griffins)
Presently second in the AHL in scoring, Jiri Hudler has continued to shine in Grand Rapids, doubling his offensive totals from the last two years combined in 2005-06. Detroit’s second-round pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft began the season with a 14-game scoring streak – including nine goals in his first five games – and never slowed down, currently sitting with 36 goals and 57 assists for 93 points in 72 contests for the Griffins. Hudler, who played in his second AHL All-Star Classic this winter, is tied for third in the league with seven game-winning markers, including two in overtime.

Keith Aucoin, Center (Lowell Lock Monsters)
Bidding to finish in the top 10 in AHL scoring for the second time in four years, Keith Aucoin has registered career highs with 26 goals and 51 assists in 66 games for Lowell, for nearly twice as many points (77) as any of his Lock Monsters teammates. Aucoin, a native of nearby Chelmsford, Mass., recorded five consecutive multiple-point games back in November, including a four-assist, plus-5 night at Portland on Nov. 26, and played in the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic. Aucoin made his NHL debut as well this year, with one assist in seven games for Carolina to date.

Dustin Penner, Right Wing (Portland Pirates)
Dustin Penner’s meteoric rise from junior college to the NHL peaked in Portland this season, where the second-year pro has recorded 36 goals and 39 assists for 75 points in just 51 games with the Pirates, along with a plus-36 rating that by far leads the AHL. The 23-year-old Penner, who helped the University of Maine reach the NCAA championship game in 2004, has also appeared in 19 NHL games with Anaheim in 2005-06, recording four goals and three assists for the Mighty Ducks.