Filppula, Hensick added to All-Star roster

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Grand Rapids Griffins forward Ilari Filppula and Peoria Rivermen forward T.J. Hensick have been added to the Western Conference roster for the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross, to take place in Hershey, Pa., on Jan. 30-31.

Filppula and Hensick replace Hamilton Bulldogs forwards David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty, who will both miss the event while on recall to the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens.

Filppula, 29, is in his first North American professional season and leads the Griffins in scoring with 13 goals and 18 points for 31 points in 41 games. A native of Vantaa, Finland, Filppula is the older brother of current Detroit Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula, who was an AHL All-Star himself in 2006 while playing for Grand Rapids.

Hensick, 25, will make his third trip to the AHL All-Star Classic in four professional seasons after appearing in the 2008 and 2010 events as a member of the Lake Erie Monsters. In his first year with the St. Louis Blues organization, Hensick leads all Peoria skaters in both assists (27) and points (37) in 31 games and has also contributed one assist in five NHL contests for St. Louis. The Howell, Mich., native was a third-round draft pick by the Colorado Avalanche in 2005.

The 2011 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross in Hershey will feature the top talent in the American Hockey League competing in the AHL All-Star Skills Competition and the AHL All-Star Game, a two-day event to be televised nationally in the United States and Canada. Of the 528 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 93 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Dan Boyle, Daniel Briere, Dustin Byfuglien, Brian Campbell, Zdeno Chara, Eric Fehr, Miikka Kiprusoff, Kari Lehtonen, Ryan Miller, Zach Parise, Bobby Ryan, Martin St. Louis, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal and Tomas Vokoun.