Junland And Eller Named To PlanetUSA All-Star Roster
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (December 30, 2009) - The American Hockey League announced that Rivermen defenseman Jonas Junland and rookie center Lars Eller have been named to the PlanetUSA AHL All-Star team roster for the 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic, to be played next month at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine.
Junland, 22, has appeared in 33 games this season for Peoria and is second on the team in points behind fellow all-star Eller. The Swedish-born defenseman is tops among all AHL defenseman with six power-play goals and ranks second in points with 24 and goals with eight. This will be Junland's second straight all-star appearance after he served as the lone Rivermen representative at last year's game in Worcester, Mass.
Drafted in the third round, 64th overall, by the St. Louis Blues, Junland has played in two NHL games in his career. He made his NHL debut last season as a rookie on Dec. 18, 2008 and also appeared in a game against Columbus this season on Nov. 30.
Eller, 20, has collected 26 points in 28 games during his rookie season and leads the team in both points and assists (20). He is third among all AHL rookies in both of those categories as well. He has been lethal on the power play with 11 of his 20 assists having occurred on the man advantage.
A native of Rodovre, Denmark, Eller was the highest Danish-born player ever drafted in the NHL when the Blues selected him 13th overall in the 2007 entry draft. He made his NHL debut on Nov. 5 against Calgary and scored his first NHL goal that night. He has appeared in five NHL games overall.
The PlanetUSA team comprises 24 players - 13 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders - born outside of Canada; the Canadian team was announced on Tuesday. AHL fans determined the starting lineups via on-line balloting at theahl.com, while a committee of AHL coaches selected the remainder of the rosters. All 29 AHL teams are represented by at least one All-Star.
Among the members of the PlanetUSA team are 18 first-time AHL All-Stars, including 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs MVP Michal Neuvirth of the Hershey Bears and 2009 AHL rookie of the year Nathan Gerbe of the host Portland Pirates, who missed last year's event due to injury. The PlanetUSA club features four other former first-round NHL draft picks: Jack Skille of the Rockford IceHogs, John Carlson of the Hershey Bears, Bobby Sanguinetti of the Hartford Wolf Pack and former Rivermen Ivan Vishnevskiy now with the Texas Stars. Rochester's Graham Mink will make his All-Star debut and serve as PlanetUSA captain.
Manchester Monarchs head coach Mark Morris and assistant Scott Pellerin will lead the PlanetUSA team because the Monarchs owned the AHL's second-best points percentage (behind the defending champion Hershey Bears) at the end of play on Dec. 27.
The 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic will feature the top talent in the American Hockey League competing in the 2010 AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Monday, January 18 (8:00 p.m. ET) and the 2010 AHL All-Star Game on Tuesday, January 19 (6:00 p.m. ET), and will be televised live nationally in the United States and Canada. Of the 492 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 94 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Brad Boyes, Dan Boyle, Daniel Briere, Brian Campbell, Zdeno Chara, Rick DiPietro, Miikka Kiprusoff, Kari Lehtonen, Ryan Miller, Zach Parise, Bobby Ryan, Martin St. Louis, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal and Tomas Vokoun.
Tickets for the 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic - which include admission to both the Skills Competition and the AHL All-Star Game as well as an official commemorative All-Star Classic event program - are $49 (rows 1-12 in all sections) and $42 (rows 13-24 in all sections). To purchase tickets call (207) 775-3458, visit the Cumberland County Civic Center Box Office or go on-line at portlandpirates.com.
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