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AHL grads Brodeur, St. Louis, O’Ree voted into Hockey Hall of Fame

The Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday announced that American Hockey League alumni Martin BrodeurMartin St. Louis and Willie O’Ree are part of the induction class of 2018.

Brodeur, St. Louis and O’Ree will be enshrined on Nov. 12.

Brodeur played 32 games with the AHL’s Utica Devils as a 20-year-old rookie in 1992-93, helping the club reach the Calder Cup Playoffs.

He went on to a remarkable National Hockey League career, appearing in 1,266 games with New Jersey and St. Louis and earning an NHL-record 691 victories. Brodeur won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s outstanding rookie in 1993-94, was a four-time Vezina Trophy winner as the league’s top goaltender and backstopped the Devils to three Stanley Cup championships (1995, 2000, 2003). He also represented Canada at the Olympics in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010 (winning two gold medals) and at the World Cup of Hockey in 1996 and 2004.

St. Louis’s road from undrafted free agent to the Hall of Fame included a three-year stop in the American Hockey League, where he was an AHL All-Star in 1999 and helped the Saint John Flames reach the Calder Cup Finals in 1998. St. Louis totaled 58 goals and 56 assists for 114 points in 95 regular-season games in the AHL, as well as nine goals and 19 assists in 27 postseason outings.

St. Louis played 1,134 games in the NHL with Calgary, Tampa Bay and the New York Rangers, recording 391 goals and 642 assists for 1,033 points. He was a two-time NHL scoring champion, a three-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct, and an NHL MVP and Stanley Cup champion with the Lightning in 2004. St. Louis also played in six NHL All-Star Games and played in two Olympics, helping Canada to a gold medal in Sochi in 2014.

Known widely as the player who broke the color barrier in the NHL in 1958, O’Ree accomplished the same feat in the AHL three months earlier when he suited up for the Springfield Indians on Oct. 12, 1957.

O’Ree played professionally until 1974, including a season with the AHL’s New Haven Nighthawks in 1972-73, and has since served as a constant presence in the hockey community. Since 1998, O’Ree has served as the NHL’s Diversity Ambassador, spreading the message that hockey is for everyone by working directly with non-profit grassroots hockey programs across North America.

Since its first members were honored in 1945, a total of 123 players, coaches, officials and managers with ties to the American Hockey League have been selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.