AHL All-Rookie Team Announced Today


The AHL released their selections for the All-Rookie team today. The players are voted on by AHL coaches, players, and media. The players selected receive a custom-designed crystal award in recognition of their selection to the team. The team consists of one goaltender, 2 defensemen and 3 forewards. This years selections were:

Goaltender Niklas Svedberg of the Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins)

The Providence Bruins have their best record going into the last week thanks to Svedberg. This is his first year playing professional hockey in North America and if this is a sign of what is to come I wouldn’t worry about the future of goaltending in Boston. He is number 3 in wins among all time AHL rookie goaltenders with a record of 34-8-0. He is 6th in the league in goals against average with 2.18 and 5th in save percentage with .924.

Defenseman Justin Schultz of the Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton Oilers)

April 8, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz (19) shoots the puck against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Schultz only played the first half of the season with the Barons before being called up to the Oilers. In his first 34 games of the season he recorded 18 goals and 30 assists. He played his last game with the Barons on January 5th but still leads all AHL defensemen in goals and points. He is tied for 3rd among all AHL rookies for scoring. He was named Player of the Month in October and Rookie of the Month in November. Since being called up by the Oilers he has 20 points in 39 games.

Defenseman Sami Vatanen of the Norfolk Admirals (Anaheim Ducks)

Vatanen is ranked 1st among defenseman in assists with 36 and 2nd among defensmen in points with 44 in the 59 games he’s played with the Admirals this season. He went on a 7 game scoring streak from February 23 to March 9. He was named SM-liiga’s defenseman of the year for both the 2010-11 season and 2011-12 season. He also captained team Finland in the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championships leading them to a bronze medal.

Forward Ryan Spooner of the Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins)

Feb 6, 2013; Montreal, QC, CAN; Boston Bruins forward Ryan Spooner (51) during the warmup period before the game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Spooner leads all rookies in assists, with 37, and points, with 51. He also leads his team in scoring. Spooner has registered 13 multiple point games this season and 4 of them were in a row between March 16 and April 5. He made his NHL debut for the Bruins on February 6 appearing in 4 NHL games this season. He even scored the game winning goal in the 2010 CHL Top Prospects Game for Team Cherry.

Forward Tyler Toffoli of the Manchester Monarchs (Los Angeles Kings)

Mar 18, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Tyler Toffoli (73) is congratulated by mascot Bailey after the game against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Coyotes 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Toffoli has scored the most goals among all AHL rookies with 28. He also leads all rookies with 3 short-handed goals. He was the only Monarch to play in this years Dunkin Donuts All-Star Classic. He played in 8 NHL games with the Kings this season and in those games has tallied 5 points.This isn’t the first time he has been named to an All-Rookie team, after the 2008-09 season he was named to the OHL All-Rookie Team.

Forward Jason Zucker of the Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild)

Feb 26, 2013; St. Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker (16) celebrates his goal during the third period against the Calgary Flames at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Flames 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Zucker has 48 points (24 goals and 24 assists) in 53 games this season. 12 of theses 24 goals were scored on the power play. He is tied for the AHL lead in game winning goals, with 8, and overtime winners, with 3.  Zucker played in 14 NHL games this season with the Wild where he accumulated 5 points (1 goal and 4 assists).

With the success of these rookies it easy to see the positive future of these NHL teams.