Projecting the AHL All-Star roster

Chris Mueller could be an All-Star when the team is announced tomorrow. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

Chris Mueller could be an All-Star when the team is announced tomorrow. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

The AHL will announce its All-Star game roster tomorrow afternoon, the league announced today.

Unlike traditional seasons — where the league has used an East vs. West format — there will only be one team this season. That team will play against Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League and the game will be played in St. John’s.

While cool, particularly in an olympic year, it does cut the number of All-Stars in half. So let’s take a look at what the All-Star roster could look like.

First a couple ground rules:
1. I have never seen an Eastern Conference team play live. You can blame AHL scheduling for that.
2. This is my opinion. I’m sure some will disagree, but this is a fun exercise. So, have fun with it.
3. If a player is in the NHL right now, I did not consider them.

First line:
Chris Mueller, Texas Stars
Travis Morin, Texas Stars
Colton Sceviour, Texas Stars

This isn’t homerism. Against a team that has played together all season, the AHL will want some familiarity on its lines.

While Mueller doesn’t play on the same line as Morin and Sceviour in Texas (that’s Curtis McKenzie’s spot), they do play together on the league’s best power play. They’re also first, third and fourth in the league in scoring.

Second line:
Mike Hoffman, Binghamton Senators
Ben Street, Abbotsford Heat
Stephane Da Costa, Binghamton Senators

This is another line that will have some familiarity. Hoffman and Da Costa play together for Binghamton and are 2nd and 8th in the league in scoring. Street has 32 points (16 goals, 16 assists) for the Heat and should easily fit in.

Third line:
Joe Whitney, Albany Devils
Andy Miele, Portland Pirates
Spencer Abbot, Toronto Marlies

Call this the college hockey line. Whitney (Maine), Abbot (Boston College), and Miele (Miami) all played college hockey and it creates an easy nickname.

The stats back it up, too. These three players have a combined 62 points in 65 games this season.

Fourth line:
Carter Camper, Providence Bruins
Eric O’Dell, St. John’s IceCaps
Thomas Jurco, Grand Rapids Griffins

I know this line has two centers on it. But Camper could slide to the wing since O’Dell will be playing in front of his hometown fans.

Defensive pairings:
TJ Brennan, Toronto Marlies
Brendon Kichton, St. John’s IceCaps

Adam Clendening, Rockford IceHogs
Chad Billins, Abbottsford Heat

Ryan Sproul, Grand Rapids Griffins
Andrew Bodnarchuck, Manchester Monarchs

Picking six defenseman to represent the entire AHL is difficult decision, I’m glad I don’t have to do it for real.

Statistically this group is amongst the best in the league. There were some snubs, it’s the nature of this type of thing.

But each of these defenseman is amongst the league leaders in plus/minus or defensive scoring (which is important for an all-star team).

Goalies
Cal Heeter, Adirondack Phantoms
Keith Kinkaid, Albany Devils
Eddie Pasquale, St. John’s IceCaps

I picked three goalies because that’s how All-Star games normally work. However, this isn’t a normal All-Star game.

If the AHL decides to pick one goalie to play the whole game my choice would be Heeter. He leads the league in goals against average and save percentage.

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