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2017-18 AHL All-Rookie Team named

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has announced the 2017-18 AHL All-Rookie Team, as voted by coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 30 member cities.

2017-18 AHL All-Rookie Team (stats through Apr. 3)
GoaltenderVille Husso, San Antonio Rampage (37gp, 15-13-5, 2.32gaa, .926sv%, 4so)
DefenseFilip Hronek, Grand Rapids Griffins (62gp, 9+24=33pts., +21, 4 GWG)
DefenseSami Niku, Manitoba Moose (71gp, 15+37=52pts., +18, 9 PPG)
ForwardMason Appleton, Manitoba Moose (71gp, 21+40=61pts., +13, 7 PPG, 6 GWG)
ForwardDaniel Sprong, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (59gp, 28+29=57pts., +2, 10 PPG, 6 GWG)
ForwardDylan Strome, Tucson Roadrunners (47gp, 22+28=50pts., +8, 9 PPG, 3 GWG)

Each player will receive a custom-designed crystal award in recognition of his selection to the 2017-18 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Previous selections to the annual AHL All-Rookie Team include Zdeno Chara (1998), Daniel Briere (1998), Dan Boyle (1999), 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), Justin Abdelkader (2009), John Carlson (2010), P.K. Subban (2010), Logan Couture (2010), Lars Eller (2010), Eddie Lack (2011), Cory Conacher (2012), Tyler Johnson (2012), Gustav Nyquist (2012), Justin Schultz (2013), Sami Vatanen (2013), Jason Zucker (2013), Tyler Toffoli (2013), Ryan Strome (2014), Ryan Spooner (2013), Ryan Strome (2014), Matt Murray (2015), Connor Brown (2015), Viktor Arvidsson (2015), Charles Hudon (2015), Ryan Pulock (2015), Juuse Saros (2016), Brandon Montour (2016), Frank Vatrano (2016), Mikko Rantanen (2016), Jake Guentzel (2017) and Mark Jankowski (2017).

The 2017-18 First and Second AHL All-Star Teams will be announced on Thursday.


2017-18 AHL All-Rookie Team

Photo: Darren Abate

Ville Husso, Goaltender (San Antonio Rampage):
In his first full AHL season, Ville Husso has been one of the top goaltenders in the league, ranking fourth overall with a .926 save percentage in 37 appearances for San Antonio. A fourth-round selection by the St. Louis Blues in the 2014 NHL Draft, Husso has made at least 34 saves in a game on 10 occasions this season, including a 53-save performance on Jan. 19 and a 44-save shutout on Feb. 24. The 23-year-old native of Helsinki, Finland, was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for Dec. 25-31.

Photo: Mark Newman

Filip Hronek, Defenseman (Grand Rapids Griffins):
A second-round draft pick by the Detroit Red Wings in 2016, Filip Hronek ranks second among all AHL rookie defensemen with 33 points (nine goals, 24 points) and is tops on the Grand Rapids roster with a plus-21 rating through 62 games played this season. The 20-year-old native of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, has also scored four game-winning goals – tied for the league lead among defensemen – and he helps anchor a Griffins power play that ranks third in the league (21.0 percent).

Photo: Jonathan Kozub

Sami Niku, Defenseman (Manitoba Moose):
Rookie blueliner Sami Niku has shined as one of several young stars on the Manitoba Moose this season, posting 15 goals and 37 assists for 52 points with a plus-18 rating while skating in all 71 games for the club to date. A seventh-round pick by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2015 NHL Draft, Niku is tied for the league scoring lead among all AHL defensemen and is tied for third in rookie scoring as well. The 21-year-old native of Haapavesi, Finland, also made his NHL debut on Apr. 3 and scored a goal in the Jets’ win at Montreal.

Photo: Jonathan Kozub

Mason Appleton, Forward (Manitoba Moose):
Mason Appleton currently ranks fourth in the entire AHL in scoring and paces all league rookies with 40 assists and 61 points in 71 games for Manitoba this season, his first as a pro after two years at Michigan State University. The 22-year-old native of Green Bay, Wis., is the top producer on a Moose team that leads the Western Conference in offense, leading the club in assists, points and game-winning goals (six). Appleton, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2015 NHL Draft by the Winnipeg Jets, also represented Manitoba at the AHL All-Star Classic in January.

Photo: KDP Studio

Daniel Sprong, Forward (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins):
Since starting the 2017-18 season with seven goals and 10 points in his first five games, Daniel Sprong has put together a terrific rookie campaign with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, ranking first among AHL rookies with 28 goals, fourth with 29 assists, second with 57 points and tied for second in both power-play goals (10) and game-winners (six). The 21-year-old native of Amsterdam, Netherlands, was a second-round draft pick by Pittsburgh in 2015 and has also skated in eight NHL games with the parent Penguins this season, collecting two goals and one assist.

Photo: Kate Dibildox

Dylan Strome, Forward (Tucson Roadrunners):
The third overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, Dylan Strome has collected 22 goals and 28 assists for 50 points in 47 contests with Pacific Division-leading Tucson this season, leading all AHL rookies in points per game (1.06). The 21-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., was twice named CCM/AHL Player of the Week, and he earned Rookie of the Month honors for November after tallying 16 points during a seven-game scoring streak. Strome, whose brother Ryan was an AHL All-Rookie Team forward in 2013-14, has added three goals and five assists in 19 NHL games with the Arizona Coyotes this season.