SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today the 2006-07 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 2006-07 AHL First and Second All-Star Teams.
Jason LaBarbera, Goaltender (Manchester Monarchs):
Jason LaBarbera is the American Hockey League’s First Team All-Star goaltender for the second time in the last four years. He has been the busiest netminder in the AHL this season, leading the league in wins (37), save percentage (.933), shutouts (7), minutes played (3,502), shots faced (1,931) and saves (1,802) and ranking second with a 2.21 goals-against average. The 27-year-old native of Burnaby, B.C., has led the Monarchs to their sixth consecutive Calder Cup Playoff berth and has them closing in on an Atlantic Division title.
Sheldon Brookbank, Defenseman (Milwaukee Admirals):
In his fifth full AHL season, Sheldon Brookbank has had a standout campaign in 2006-07, currently leading all AHL defensemen with 35 assists and 49 points in 73 games for Milwaukee. His six game-winning goals are also tops among blueliners, and his 14 total goals on the year match his output from 282 career AHL games prior to this season. A native of Lanigan, Sask., Brookbank, 26, made his National Hockey League debut with Nashville in February and earned one assist in three games with the Predators, and also skated for the Canadian side at the 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic.
Micki DuPont, Defenseman (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins):
Micki DuPont returned to the AHL in 2006-07 after three seasons in Germany and resumed his place as one of the top offensive defensemen in the league. The 26-year-old Calgary native is tied for the AHL lead among blueliners with 16 goals and is second with 46 points, while pacing all defensemen with 10 power-play goals and 243 shots on goal. DuPont was a member of the AHL’s All-Rookie Team in 2000-01, winning the Calder Cup championship with the Saint John Flames that same year.
Brett Sterling, Left Wing (Chicago Wolves):
Los Angeles native Brett Sterling has authored one of the finest rookie seasons in American Hockey League history, leading the league with 52 goals (including 21 power-play goals) and tying for second with 93 points in 72 games for Chicago. One of five AHL rookies ever to score 50 goals, Sterling has recorded three hat tricks and scored in nine consecutive games from Dec. 12-29, the longest goal-scoring streak in the league this season. The 22-year-old was the MVP of the 2007 AHL All-Star Game in Toronto (two goals, two assists), is a two-time Rbk Hockey/AHL Rookie of the Month and has also been named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team.
Martin St. Pierre, Center (Norfolk Admirals):
After finishing third among AHL rookies in scoring in 2005-06, Martin St. Pierre has helped lead the Norfolk Admirals to the best record in franchise history this season. The 23-year-old native of Embrun, Ont., ranks second in the AHL with 67 assists and tied for second with 93 points in just 60 games for the Admirals, and has also recorded four points – including his first NHL goal – in 14 contests with the parent Chicago Blackhawks. An AHL All-Rookie Team selection last season, St. Pierre made his second consecutive AHL All-Star Classic appearance this year in Toronto.
Darren Haydar, Right Wing (Chicago Wolves):
A record-breaking start to the 2006-07 season propelled Darren Haydar to one of the most prolific offensive seasons in recent AHL history. The former AHL rookie of the year (2003) and Calder Cup champion (2004) shattered the league record for longest scoring streak, recording a point in each of Chicago’s first 39 games of the season and averaging better than two points a game in doing so. A 27-year-old Toronto native, Haydar is currently the AHL’s leader with 73 assists and 111 points in 68 games for the Wolves. He also made his return to the National Hockey League after a four-year absence, playing four games with the Atlanta Thrashers.
Curtis McElhinney, Goaltender (Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights):
Second-year pro Curtis McElhinney emerged as a top prospect in the Calgary Flames’ system this season and has helped guide the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights to their first Calder Cup Playoff berth. McElhinney, 23, has a record of 31-16-1 in 52 appearances, ranking third in the AHL in wins and goals-against average (2.24), tied for second in shutouts (6) and fourth in minutes played (2,871). A native of London, Ont., McElhinney represented the Knights at the 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic in Toronto.
Dustin Byfuglien, Defenseman (Norfolk Admirals):
One of the AHL’s top two-way defensemen, Dustin Byfuglien has tallied 15 goals and 27 assists for 42 points in 58 games with Norfolk this season. The 6-foot-3, 254-pound native of Roseau, Minn., also owns a plus-10 rating and ranks second among AHL blueliners with five game-winning goals and 223 shots on goal. Byfuglien, 22, also has one goal and two assists in eight NHL games with Chicago in 2006-07, and participated in the 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic, winning the hardest shot event at the Skills Competition with a blast clocked at 98.7 mph.
Nathan Oystrick, Defenseman (Chicago Wolves):
In his first season out of Northern Michigan University, 24-year-old Nathan Oystrick ranks third among all AHL defensemen in scoring with 44 points (14 goals, 30 assists) while skating in all 75 games for the Chicago Wolves. The native of Regina, Sask., also owns a plus-17 rating, fifth among all AHL rookies, and has netted nine power-play goals and four game-winners for the league’s top-ranked offense. Oystrick, who was named to the 2007 AHL All-Rookie Team earlier this week, was drafted by the parent Atlanta Thrashers in 2002.
Jason Jaffray, Left Wing (Manitoba Moose):
Currently tied for fifth in the league scoring race, Jason Jaffray has shattered his previous AHL career highs with 34 goals and 78 points in 73 games for Manitoba in 2006-07. A 25-year-old native of Olds, Alta., Jaffray tied a Moose record with four goals in one game (Oct. 24 at Chicago), and later scored goals in seven consecutive contests from Dec. 28 to Jan. 12. Jaffray, who appeared in his first career AHL All-Star Classic this winter, leads the American Hockey League with nine game-winning goals.
Keith Aucoin, Center (Albany River Rats):
Poised to finish in the top 10 in AHL scoring for the third time in five years, Keith Aucoin is a Second Team AHL All-Star for the second straight season. His 66 assists and 91 points are career highs, and they have come in just 60 games. A native of Chelmsford, Mass., the 28-year-old Aucoin has recorded 31 multiple-point efforts and has had five scoring streaks of at least six games each. Aucoin has also skated in eight NHL games with the Carolina Hurricanes this season, registering one assist, and he appeared in his second consecutive AHL All-Star Classic.
Troy Brouwer, Right Wing (Norfolk Admirals):
The WHL’s scoring champion at Moose Jaw last year, Troy Brouwer has taken the AHL by storm and recorded 40 goals and 38 assists for 78 points in 64 games for Norfolk. The 21-year-old from Delta, B.C., ranks second in the league in goals, tied for fifth in points, second in power-play goals (20) and tied for third in game-winners (seven), and has also appeared in 10 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks. Brouwer was named the Rbk Hockey/AHL Rookie of the Month for March, and has also earned a spot on the 2007 AHL All-Rookie Team.